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  • NRL 2024: Zac Lomax’s message to axed Parramatta Eels coach Brad Arthur

    Dragons star Zac Lomax has reached out to axed Eels coach Brad Arthur as Parramatta officials addressed the elephant in the room at a press conference on Tuesday.

    Zac Lomax and his parents have reached out to crestfallen coach Brad Arthur.

    The Dragons marquee signing is believed to be one of hundreds of phone calls and text messages the sacked Eels coach received since having his contract terminated on Monday afternoon.

    However, Lomax’s call is of particular interest given he signed a four-year deal with the Eels worth around $2.6 million from 2025.

    Arthur was instrumental in the deal getting done.

    This masthead understands the motivation for both Lomax and his parents to reach out to Arthur was to check on his welfare, rather than any suggestion of backing out of the deal.

    It has been relayed to this masthead that Arthur reassured Lomax has made the right decision and encouraged the talent to look forward to joining the Eels next season.

    Parramatta officials revealed they plan to speak to Lomax on Tuesday to ease any concerns he may have over the sacking of Brad Arthur.

    Lomax, who is due to join the Eels next season, asked for a clause in his contract that would have allowed him to renege on his deal if Arthur was moved on.

    The club rejected the request and on Monday, they officially axed Arthur. Eels chief executive Jim Sarantinos confirmed the club would contact Lomax to discuss the decision to move on from Arthur.


    “We will be having a conversation with Zac today,” Sarantinos said.

    “Our focus over the last little while has been having a conversation with the players in the building. We will be having a conversation with Zac.

    “None of our players have any clause like that in their contract. That’s not the way we operate.”

    Lomax is set to join the Eels on a four year deal from next season after being personally pursued by Arthur, who hosted Lomax at his house as part of the negotiation process.

    The Dragons winger has been one of the form players in the NRL this year and is expected to slot into the centres when he joins the Eels next season.

    The club has already begun their search for a new coach, having put together a hit-list of potential targets.

    “What we will be looking for is what we think is the best coach for our club,” Sarantinos said.

    “We still think we have a really strong roster. As I said, we want someone who has been involved with a winning program and been around a high performance culture.

    “We have started putting together a list of candidates. There are obviously a number of people out there who have the capabilities to be a head coach.

    “That is a process we will work through over the coming weeks.”

    Eels bosses confirmed the club made the decision to sack Arthur on May 1 to pursue newly appointed South Sydney coach Wayne Bennett.

    The Eels’ pursuit of Bennett ultimately failed, leaving Arthur without a job following his sacking on Monday.

    Earlier, Arthur hit the ground running a day after being sacked by the Eels.

    Arthur, whose tenure as Eels coach was brought to an end at a meeting on Monday afternoon, was spotted going for a run early on Tuesday morning – on what is his 50th birthday.

    The former head coach appeared spritely despite his sacking the day prior, telling The Daily Telegraph he was feeling “good” before offering media a drink as he returned from his jog.

    “Would you like a cup of tea,” he said smiling.

    Although in good spirits, Arthur said he was unsure of what his life prior to the Eels would look like.

    “I don’t know what I’m going to do,” he said.

    When asked if he had any words for devout Parramatta fans, the ex-coach – who was kitted out in Puma activewear, had nothing to say.

    “No thank you,” he said.


    Parramatta’s bombshell decision has led the club to draw up a hit list of aspiring NRL coaches, including Jason Ryles, Josh Hannay, Sam Burgess, Michael Maguire, Jason Demetriou, Dean Young and Michael Ennis.

    Eels assistant Trent Barrett, who was at the Eels’ Kellyville headquarters on Tuesday morning after taking over as interim head coach for the remainder of the season, is also expected to put his name forward club’s search for a new coach.


    Parramatta went to great lengths to keep the media away from training facilities on Tuesday morning, as players arrived at 7am for a meeting with interim coach Trent Barrett.

    Members of the Eels leadership group, including skipper Clint Gutherson, Junior Paulo and Mitchell Moses arrived before the rest of the playing group at the Kellyville headquarters for the first day of the post Brad Arthur era at the club.

    The rest of NRL squad reported into Kellyville at around 7.30am for a meeting with Barrett ahead of Saturday’s clash with South Sydney.

    Security guards were posted at the club’s entrance, shielding players from the waiting media pack.

    Gutherson, Moses, Paulo, Bryce Cartwright and Joe Ofahengaue were spotted leaving the training facilities at 9.30am, two hours after arriving for Barrett’s first address to players as interim head coach.

    • Interesting mention, Michael Ennis as a possibility.

      Thanks for posting.

  • When asked if he had any words for devout Parramatta fans, the ex-coach – who was kitted out in Puma activewear, had nothing to say.

    “No thank you,” he said.

    Says it all really!!!

    • bit lousy really



      • What's he going to say the day after he was sacked , and his birthday today. No comment is the best response. Geez, he can't win either way with some people.  Thi k about how you would react if you were just sacked!?

This reply was deleted.

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