Eels trio yet to pen NRL deals for 2010 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Eels trio yet to pen NRL deals for 2010

By David Beniuk 29/09/2009 07:36:08 PM Comments (0)

Several of Parramatta's finals heroes will enter Sunday's NRL grand final with their futures under a cloud.

Halfback Jeff Robson, lock Todd Lowrie and hooker Kevin Kingston - Eels fairytales in 2009 - are all off-contract and unlikely to know what their futures hold when they run onto the ANZ Stadium turf on Sunday evening.

The Eels are battling salary cap pressure and, while Robson and Kingston are hopeful of staying, Lowrie and the club are resigned to the in-form lock moving on.

"It doesn't look like I'll be here unfortunately, it's not looking that way but I'm pretty confident I'll still be in the NRL," Lowrie told AAP.

"I think some decisions were made at the start of the year which unfortunately weren't in my favour but I don't really know if that's salary cap constrictions or what it is."

Those decisions came before the reign of new CEO Paul Osborne, who is hamstrung by the calls of the previous regime.

It is understood that several lower grade players not in the plans of coach Daniel Anderson are eating up a substantial chunk of the club's cap rather than the signing of big names Timana Tahu, Justin Poore and Shane Shackleton.

"I understand Todd has two-year offer somewhere so if that's the case it will be hard for us to keep him but he's certainly been playing well," Osborne told AAP.

"We'd love to keep him, it's not that we don't want him but we can't."

Robson, the part-time landscaper who filled the void left by Brett Finch's departure and Kris Keating's injury, said he was hopeful of working something out with the club.

"Still unsure, I'm hoping to stay," he said of his future.

"I'll try and get something sorted next week for sure."

Osborne said he had no "definitive answer" on the 27-year-old but is hopeful the club can show him some loyalty.

"I'm very confident Jeff Robson will stay," the CEO said.

Osborne said he would not be taking up an offer from Kingston to hand his pay back, adding it was the salary cap auditor's costing, and not the player's actual wage, that counted.

"I wouldn't take his money," Osborne said.

" ... We'll try and work something out with Kevin Kingston."

Osborne, who came on board with the Eels in July, said he was not expecting to have to deliver a wad of bad news after the grand final.

"I think everyone sort of knows where they are in the big plan so I don't think anyone will be surprised," he said.

Robson believes his game has reached its potential after a long journey to become a regular first-grader.

"I always thought I was good enough to play at the top level and I just thought that I needed a few games back-to-back to build the confidence and get used to the game," he said.

" ... Once I did that, that's when I felt more comfortable, more confident.

"(When Finch left) I thought it was a really good opportunity for myself to stamp my authority on the No.7 jersey.

"To start off, it wasn't to be. I got one start there and I played okay but I didn't probably stamp my authority.

" ... I think I've improved a lot, mainly confidence and obviously my kicking and knowing when to run just comes with confidence and getting used to the speed of the games.

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