Lane change? Frustrated Eels forward considers options
Star Parramatta forward Shaun Lane has meetings scheduled with rival clubs over the next fortnight, after failing to come to terms with the Eels, in a bid to resolve his future before the NRL season kicks off.
Lane was one of the buys of 2019 for the blue and golds after transferring from arch-rivals Manly. The rangy back-rower, off contract at the end of the 2020 season, averaged 110 running metres and 28 tackles a game, earning him the club’s Jack Gibson coaches’ award as best forward.
Parramatta have retained the nucleus of their squad having recently re-signed key players Dylan Brown, Maika Sivo and Michael Jennings, as well as extending the contracts of Oregon Kaufusi, Marata Niukore, Brad Takairangi, David Gower, Ray Stone and Andrew Davey before Christmas.
Eels forward Shaun Lane is a man in demand.CREDIT:AAP
However, Lane remains unsigned beyond this year and has told his management to finalise his future before round one to ensure negotiations aren’t a distraction during the season. The 25-year-old feels he hasn’t been made a Parramatta priority despite coming off a career-best season. He will explore his options if an extension can’t be brokered.
“I really enjoy playing under BA [coach Brad Arthur] and I believe this playing group can be really successful,” Lane said. “Unfortunately, I haven’t heard anything about my contract since late October.”
Lane, considered one of the on and off-field leaders at the club, could come into calculations for a Blues jersey if he reproduces his 2019 form.
The Newcastle Knights are excited about 2020 after bringing new coach Adam O'Brien on board.
“Personally, I feel my best footy is in front of me and I am focused on putting my name in Origin conversations when selection talks comes around this year, so I don’t want any contract distractions,” Lane said.