Parramatta’s playing group are hopeful injury-struck forward Anthony Watmough will be the only person jettisoned from the NRL club as a result of the Eels’ salary cap crisis.
The Eels have been told they need to shave $570,000 off their player payments to be under the salary cap for Friday’s clash against South Sydney.
If Parramatta can’t do that, any premiership points they earn against the Rabbitohs will likely be docked as part of the NRL’s sanctions against the club for their alleged salary cap rorts.
Watmough has said he would retire due to a chronic knee injury if that alleviates the Eels’ situation.
The former representative forward’s yearly salary is said to be around $650,000 and it is up to the NRL as to how much of that will come off the cap.
Eels club captain Tim Mannah said at training on Sunday he hoped Watmough’s retirement would in itself make the club salary cap compliant again.
“At the moment we all have our eggs in that one basket,” Mannah said.
“Because it is not like we are trying to do anything outside the rules. He has done an injury that has cost him his career, we are just hoping that can get sorted sooner rather than later and hopefully that is all that needs to happen.”
The Eels have registered papers with the NRL for Watmough’s injury to be considered as career ending.
He suffered the injury at pre-season in February and any player payments could be backdated to then.
Eels back-rower Beau Scott said he wasn’t sure if any players other than Watmough would have to exit Parramatta to squeeze them under the salary cap.
“I don’t really know, I guess we will wait and see,” he said.
A final decision on sanctions from the NRL, which include provisional penalties of 12 competition points, a $1 million fine and the deregistration of five officials, is expected to be handed down in mid-June.