'Sanders won't leave Eels early': under-pressure Arthur

Brad Arthur says there is no chance Ethan Sanders will move to Canberra early, insistent the teenage half has told him he will see out 2024 at Parramatta.

Sanders will debut against Manly on Friday night, after Arthur wielded the axe and dropped Daejarn Asi in the wake of the Eels' 44-16 capitulation to the Dolphins in Darwin in round seven.

Sanders is the third man in five weeks to fill in for Parramatta in the halves, as Arthur battles to replace the injured Mitch Moses.

But the 19-year-old could also be a handy fill-in for the Raiders once Moses returns at Parramatta next month.

Action from Parramatta against the Dolphins in Darwin.
Parramatta struggled to match the Dolphins in Darwin in round seven. (HANDOUT/NRL PHOTOS)

Sanders told Eels teammates this week he will head to Canberra next year, after finally agreeing terms with the Raiders.

Canberra have lost their halfback Jamal Fogarty for three months with a bicep rupture, leaving them without an organising half at No.7.

But Sanders won't be the solution, Arthur insisted.

"He's come and fronted up and let us know that he'd be moving on," Arthur said on Thursday.

"(But) he's told me to my face, and his manager has, that he's not asking for a release this year.

"It's good. He made an obligation to the team at the start of the year, and that's a sign of the man he is."

Sanders will not be asked to run Parramatta's attack, with that responsibility left to Dylan Brown.

After starting the year slowly in NSW Cup, the teenager has grown in confidence in the past fortnight to earn an NRL debut, Arthur said.

The Eels coach added he had no hesitation picking Sanders ahead of the teenager's Canberra move, with the Eels sitting 14th and questions being asked around Arthur's future.

"I want to keep my job. I want to work here, so I need to pick the best team available," Arthur said.

"We've got Dylan Brown and Mitchell Moses as our halves. I don't think anyone expects me to drop either of those guys for (Sanders).

"So the opportunity is better for him somewhere else. I'm proud of the fact that we can make these plays better and they get presented a better opportunity.

"But I need to win games of footy. We can make players better, but I don't keep my job by that. I keep my job by winning games of footy."

Daejarn Asi of Parramatta.
Daejarn Asi has paid the price for Parramatta's one-sided defeat at the hands of the Dolphins. (James Gourley/AAP PHOTOS)

After labelling his side a "part-time footy team" following the Dolphins loss, Arthur said his players had remained sheepish this week.

"That's exactly the response I wanted to see," Arthur said.

"I wanted to see them be disappointed. I wanted to see them be embarrassed. I wanted to see them hurt.

"I don't like making a heap of changes, but they forced me into it.

"There are things in our team that are non-negotiable, that they've got to do.

"You can't change every player ... a lot of the guys are lucky they're in the team this week and they know that."