New Signings: Nathaniel Roache

Nathaniel Roache arrives from the New Zealand Warriors to the Parramatta Eels as a development project. 

The 24 year old hooker is the only non-Eels junior to hold a development contract at the club, however presents an interesting proposition for coaching staff.

Roache has played just 26 games since 2016 due to a horrid run of injuries. He has had, among other injuries, a knee reconstruction, back surgery and ankle surgery.

The Warriors had hoped he would be their long term number nine to replace Issac Luke but his injuries put paid to that idea.

He arrives at the Eels with competition at the hooker position given the arrival of Joey Lussick. Both players will be competing for a bench position.

Lussick is almost assured to have first crack at being the number two hooker given he's been the starting hooker for Salford and has 60 first grade games to his name.

Roache, though, provides something a little different than Parramatta's two other number nines. He played in the halves as a junior at the Warriors and at one stage was being considered as a half for the NRL before shifting to hooker.

He's also the largest of all of Parramatta's hookers so can offer some extra size in the middle. He's actually the same size as Ray Stone who deputised for Mahoney on a couple of occasions during 2020.

If he gets his body right then Roache could play an almost Brandon Smith role for the Eels. They are both listed at the same height and weight.

Indeed, the Eels see him as a project player who could play an important role for the side not just this year but into the future given his skillset and the fact he's only 24.

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  • I remember when I first joined this place a few years back now I mentioned this guy as a go get but as mentioned he's had a horrid run of injuries.He's been on the cusp for what seems like forever made all the teenage teams in NZ.But just hasn't cracked it in the nrl as yet.You hope it's another Benji Marshall injury situation where you use up all your injury juju and the tide turns for the guy.

  • I don't know if its been mentioned yet, but Roach doesn't have a top 30 contract as yet, meaning he can't be considered for the team until he gets promoted 

    • He's still development but it could also depend if the NRL allows dev players to play like they did last year due to COVID.

      • Depending how the mop flops with Roache, we could end up relying largely on Lussick for extra spark out and creativity out of dummy half. Roache has "potential", but I don't know much about Lussick.

        • Lussick was in our lower grades as a half, although has played virtually all his first grade footy at hooker.

  • Good write up. With good health (and a lot more luck) and good systems on and off the field, he could be a huge asset. Well done to the Eels admin and welcome to the blue and gold army Roachy. 

  • What was his brother's name again? He played for us and Manly.

     

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