‘Fighting back the tears’: How Eels rugby recruit broke shock news

Tepai Moeroa poses for a portrait at Waratahs headquarters. Picture: Brett Costello - Source: News Corp Australia

Tepai Moeroa has revealed it took him three hours of pacing back and forth in front of Brad Arthur’s office to pluck up the courage to break news of his impending defection to rugby union to the Parramatta coach.

Moeroa has signed a two-year Super Rugby deal with the NSW Waratahs until the end of 2021 on a contract which will be topped up by Rugby Australia.

After five years in Sydney’s west with the Eels, the former Australian rugby schoolboys representative will leave the NRL at the end of 2019 and return to the 15-man code.

The 23-year-old was in negotiations with the Waratahs when he came off contract last year and felt it was now-or-never if he was to make a code switch.

b5fcecf72f06e2ffdef2661adfd01a98Eels forward Tepai Moeroa at CBUS Super Stadium on the Gold Coast." Source: News Corp Australia


He said if he did re-sign with the Eels, he predicted he would have been too old to make the transition.

A former Newington College student, he said it was heartbreaking to deliver the news of his defection to Arthur, the man who handed him his NRL debut in 2014.

“I came in on Monday morning, I got into training at 6.30,” Moeroa said. 

“I was just pacing up and back on the veranda in front of Brad’s office. I didn’t know how to say it, just pacing, rehearsing what I was going to say.

515867f100e358f97f9b6013fda7f4f6Tepai Moeroa in action for Australia Schoolboys v New Zealand at Knox Grammar School." Source: News Limited


“At 9.30 I said ‘I’ve got to do it.’ We had a team meeting at 9.45, I just said I’ve got to go in and do it.

“I walked in, said ‘can I have a chat?’

“I said: ‘I wanted to let you know I signed with the Waratahs.’

“I was fighting back the tears.

“It was hard telling him, because he was there for my debut, I owe a lot to him.”

Following Sunday’s 30-18 win over the Wests Tigers, the Eels are two points off the top four and within striking distance of securing a second bite of the cherry during the finals.

Link: https://www.foxsports.com.au/rugby/super-rugby/teams/waratahs/fighting-back-the-tears-how-eels-rugby-recruit-broke-shock-news/news-story/125b79409a48bd2b990d7ba591eba902

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  • I think Tep will go very well going back to union, its a much better suited game for him.

  • lol please don’t let door hit you on the way out 

    • That's a stupid comment. This is a kid who debuted at 18 or 19 and gave his all for the club. Busted his shoulder bad, which also ruined his chances of trying out for the Olympics in shot putt. Thanks for the effort and good luck at the 'tahs Tep.

      • Tepai did everything right by the eels. Olympics, everything, if anything we failed him by not building a solid club around players like him. His transition to first grade was botched by the eels and they played him to much to fast to soon. He ruined his shoulder and I honestly think he is leaving because he has had to many recorded concussions and needs a 'clean sheet', so to avoid detection hes changing codes. Yes medical histories are shared but only at the patients consent. Very smart move from Tepai and we would welcome him back tbh. 

      • This is a guy who wanted to fight someone in another blog Brissy......where do we find them?

        • Another dope pop, Tepai did everything to help this club. Good luck to him, at least he not going to another NRL team. 

    • Hahahhaha. So true... love tepai but that comment is a classic...

  • I think Tepai will be a big loss

    He was not playing to his potential

    But if ever gets his mojo back he will be a kegend

    • I think he was played out of position. Hitting the holes on the edges was more his go.

  • Great outcome for both parties, Tepai will be missed and has served the club well

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