Tonga plays down Eels link - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tonga plays down Eels link

Ian McCullough 11/07/2011 10:05:20 PM Comments (0)

North Queensland centre Willie Tonga has denied he's agreed to sign for Parramatta, but admits it's unlikely he'll be a Cowboy next year.

The Queensland centre returned from a shoulder injury, picked up in the State of Origin opener in May, to play in Monday's 22-12 win over Newcastle.

But failed to emerge for the second half after picking up a corked thigh.

Eels officials refused to acknowledge they had agreed to sign the former Test star last week, despite reports the 27-year-old will return to the club where he began his career in 2012.

Tonga has been given permission to look elsewhere but played down speculation there was an issue between him and the Cowboys coaching staff.

"I have seen the reports and there is no truth to them, I don't know where they have come from," Tonga told AAP.

"I am contracted for next year, but have been told I can look around, I am not saying I definitely won't be in Townsville next year, but I am seeing what's out there, but Parramatta have not spoken to me.

"I will know in the next few weeks what is happening, but it is important that I keep my options open.

"I need to make sure at this stage of my career I get the right deal for me financially and I just need to see who is interested before I make decision on what I will do."

Initial reports claimed Tonga had injured his sternum, but he said he is hopeful of being fit for Saturday's clash with the Wests Tigers in Townsville.

"I just couldn't run, which was disappointing, but the good thing is the shoulder and the biceps are OK, and I should hopefully be right for Saturday," he said.

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