Cayless era ends at Parramatta - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cayless era ends at Parramatta

By Joe Barton 19/11/2010 07:39:44 PM Comments (0)

Parramatta will officially draw the curtain on the Nathan Cayless era at the NRL club when they farewell him at a tribute dinner in Sydney on Saturday night.

Cayless, Parramatta's longest-serving captain, bowed out of the game this year after 14 seasons and is one of the most popular figures in Sydney's west.

The veteran of 259 games will be honoured by past and present Eels teammates, members of the triumphant 2008 World Cup-winning New Zealand team Cayless captained and South Sydney skipper Roy Asotasi.

Replacing the Wentworthville junior is an enormous task for incoming coach Stephen Kearney, who coached the World Cup victory in 2008.

But as much as the Eels will miss his presence when they need someone to drag the team upfield with bullocking runs, rising Parramatta prop Tim Mannah, who will miss the next month with a knee medial ligament injury, believes the club will miss his influence off the field most.

"We're definitely going to miss Cayless," Mannah told AAP.

"Nath's definitely the kind of person who has a bit of an aura about him and his leadership over the past ten years speaks for itself.

"He's been at the club for 14 years and as a captain he's definitely one of the best there was.

"He'll definitely be missed, so we're going to be looking to Nathan Hindmarsh and a few more of the senior players to fill that gap that he's going to leave."

Mannah blossomed in 2010 after Cayless took a particular interest in developing the young front-rower, resulting in his Origin debut.

The 22-year-old is one of three players gunning for Cayless' treasured No.8 Parramatta jersey, with Eels recruit Carl Webb and fellow representative forward Justin Poore fighting to start alongside New Zealand international Fuifui Moimoi.

Poore has returned to training strongly since having knee surgery in the off-season, while Mannah sent a scare through Eels training on Friday when he fell awkwardly and had to be assisted from the field.

But the injury is not likely to impact too heavily on his pre-season, with the medial ligament strain expected to keep him sidelined until Christmas, allowing him to return to training in 2011.

The tribute night, which is expected to attract a crowd of over 360 people to Doltone House, will also feature speeches from Kearney, former Eels coach Jason Taylor and Alan Jones.

A documentary of his career will also be shown, plus a performance by a haka group.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2020 AAP

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