Eels have two days to find Peats a new gig

Eels have two days to find Peats a new gig

Parramatta have just two more days to find hooker Nathan Peats a new home as they search for ways to get under the salary cap by Friday’s match against South Sydney.

Peats became the first player approached by the Eels to leave since the club were stripped of all 12 of their competition points and ordered to shave $570,000 off their books before their next clash.

“I’ve had a chat with a few people, but it’s out of my control at the moment. My manager’s sorting things out and I’m worried about playing Souths this week,” Peats said on Tuesday.

“I don’t have to worry about it. I’ve got to worry about getting my body right for Friday.

“Behind the scenes, obviously I’m not there so they can sort that out.”

The 25-year-old has already been linked with a move to Gold Coast, who have a roster spot available and space in their budget, however coach Neil Henry wasn’t in a rush to fill the position.

“There is time and I don’t feel pressured that we need to make a decision about a player that’s not wanted by another club,” he said.

“We’re not here to pick up someone who we don’t think will be valuable to the club moving forward.

“It could be a key position, could be an outside back, could be a front-rower, who knows.

“But we need to make the decision based on what’s best for the club moving forward.”

Unsuccessful attempts by Eels consultant Ian Schubert to lower the $570,000 salary cap breach amount in talks with the NRL on Monday means the club is likely to need more than injured veteran Anthony Watmough’s retirement to be assured of retaining any competition points it earns.

Touted as a future Origin player in some quarters, Peats could be the answer.

The Eels have plenty other options at hooker, including Kaysa Pritchard, Cameron King, Cody Nelson and veteran Isaac De Gois, the latter of whom filled in admirably for an injured Peats earlier this season.

Peats, who had just returned from representative camp with NSW City, didn’t want to speculate on his immediate future, instead opting to remain calm in the midst of the club’s ongoing crisis.

“To be honest, two years ago I would’ve been filthy back at home or at training,” he said.

“But I’ve calmed down the last two years and not much gets to me any more.”

Off-contract at the end of the year, he also revealed he had been in discussions about an extension but said negotiations had proven difficult as the club battles the salary cap issue.

“The club weren’t in a position to talk, same with (Corey Norman), same with everyone,” he said.

“They had bigger things to deal with and I understand that. I’ve just been worrying about playing some decent footy and getting back on the field and getting some 80-minute performances out.”

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