Peats circles grudge match with Eels

A spurned Nathan Peats has already circled next month’s grudge between his new NRL club Gold Coast and Parramatta after his unceremonious exit eased the Eels’ salary cap woes.

The Eels will play host to the Titans at Darwin’s TIO Stadium in round 14 in what shapes as a tantalising clash as Peats comes up against his former club for the first time.

Peats on Wednesday agreed to fall on his sword and depart the Eels, clearing them to play for competition points against South Sydney at Pirtek Stadium on Friday.

The 25-year-old hooker, who has signed with Titans on an 18-month deal, will not turn out for the Queensland glitterstrip club during Monday’s clash with Sydney Roosters, with Sunday week’s clash with Penrith shaping as his first outing.

“I don’t like looking at the draw but I had a gaze over the next couple of weeks and I saw the Parra game there,” Peats told Network Nine.

“It’s a bit hard because I don’t hate anyone at Parra but it’s going to be hard playing against them. I look forward to that.”

Peats’ exit, the injury-enforced retirement of Anthony Watmough and the mid-season transfer of Ryan Morgan to Melbourne satisfied NRL salary cap auditor Jamie L’Oste Brown that the Eels had successfully shed $570,000 from their books to get under the cap.

The NRL has proposed a $1 million fine, the deregistration of five administrators including chairman Steve Sharp and the loss of 12 competition points, after the club was accused of systematically cheating the salary cap.

The Eels were on Thursday granted an extension to respond to the claims and their fate is not expected to be known until mid-June.

Peats had a parting shot at the club’s front-office, saying a cleanout was needed or else the club was destined to be rocked by more scandal.

“It’s been a poorly run business to be honest, (coach Brad Arthur) has been stressing out trying to get us playing footy for them, and he’s done a terrific job,” Peats said.

“Until they sort that stuff out, it’s going to keep continuing.

“I hope it doesn’t but they need to get in some people who love the club and want the club to succeed and get rid of their egos.”

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