‘Ideal person’: Parra lock in new coach

NRL Rd 12 - Dragons v Roosters
Jason Ryles is the new Parramatta coach. Picture: Matt King/Getty Images

Experience in “winning environments” proved an asset for Jason Ryles, who has been confirmed as the new coach of the Parramatta Eels replacing Brad Arthur.

Ryles edged out Josh Hannay for the top job on a four-year deal starting in 2025, with the future of caretaker coach Trent Barrett now under a cloud.

Parramatta has spent the last two months searching for a new coach after they sacked long-time boss Arthur following a heavy loss to Ryles’ Storm at Magic Round.

Ryles and Hannay were fighting it out for the top job, with the Eels finally settling on the former representative front-rower who is a defensive specialist and has been brought in to save a team that sits in 16th spot and has conceded the most points in 2024.

“I am incredibly honoured to be appointed Head Coach of the Parramatta Eels,” he said.

“This is a club with a rich history and a passionate fanbase. I look forward to coaching these young men.”

It’s been a dramatic fall for the Eels who made a grand final two years ago but lost a stack of forwards and have seemingly lost their way.

The easy decision would’ve been to appoint Hannay who has experience as an interim head coach in the NRL and is Billy Slater’s assistant at the Maroons, but Ryles has proven himself at the Storm and Roosters where he’s worked with some of the best coaches in the game, while he also worked with the English rugby team.

“We are delighted to welcome Jason to the Parramatta Eels”, said Eels chairman Sean McElduff.

“Jason’s proven track record in winning environments, combined with his passion for developing young talent perfectly aligns with the direction we are taking our club.

“We have a strong NRL roster and a group of exciting young players coming through our pathways programs. We believe Jason is the ideal person to build a strong connection within the playing group, across the club and with the passionate Parramatta Eels fanbase.“

Arthur has been signed as the new coach of Leeds in the UK Super League.