Parramatta players insist they are happy for Semi Radradra to walk straight into the NRL team to take on Cronulla, despite the Eels star missing a week of training.
Radradra was a no-show at training on Wednesday after he was granted yet another extension on his holiday in Fiji by coach Brad Arthur to deal with personal issues.
Arthur addressed the situation with the rest of the playing group before the training run.
“We thought he’d be here, but we’ve been told by Brad this morning that he’ll be back. That’s all that matters,” prop Danny Wicks said.
“I think he’s in the best three players in the world at the moment so if he wants to turn up and throw the boots on and walk out, I’m happy with that.”
Hooker Isaac De Gois denied Radradra’s late return from a club-sanctioned trip to Fiji set a bad example for the playing group.
The Kangaroos international was originally scheduled to return on Sunday.
“Me personally, he hasn’t let me down,” De Gois said.
“Speaking on behalf of the players, he hasn’t let anyone down really. He’s Semi Radradra, he’s on Fiji time so that’s the way he is.
“Semi’s, in my opinion, the best winger in the world. So if he turns up Friday – and I’m sure he will – he’ll do his job.”
Asked whether a limited preparation would hinder a player’s lead-up to a game, De Gois replied: “He could turn up in the warm-up and play the way he plays.”
Centre Michael Jennings also backed Radradra to waltz back onto the field.
“Semi’s a natural athlete. He can just warm up and he’d be ready to play. For him it’s just getting back. It doesn’t really distract us, we’re just focusing on what we need to do,” he said.
Radradra’s manager George Christodoulou earlier gave an assurance his client would not only re-join the team for their NRL clash against the Sharks, but promised that he would see out his Eels contract.
“Semi remains committed to the Eels for the remainder of his current contract expiring in 2017 and will not be going to French rugby or anywhere else whilst under contract.”