Parramatta coach Brad Arthur says Chris Sandow will be included in the NRL side to play Melbourne on Monday despite the halfback’s comments that the team would be better served if he were allowed to play his natural game.
The playmaker on Thursday created headlines when he told reporters the team were too structured and, if he played the way he wanted, they would be winning more games.
When Arthur was asked on Sunday if Sandow would turn out against the Storm at AAMI Park, he said: “Yep”.
The Eels’ are unable to call up their back-up halfback Luke Kelly because of second-tier salary cap restraints.
Sandow on Thursday ruffled feathers when he told reporters: “If he lets me play how I want to play, we’ll win more games.”
The comments have been received poorly by Parramatta chiefs and it has been reported he will not be offered a new contract at the end of the season as a result of the saga.
Arthur said he had spoken to Sandow but it would not affect the No.7’s selection or his chances of being offered a new contract.
Sandow came to the Eels from South Sydney on a $550,000-a-year deal but has failed to fire consistently in his four years at the club.
He was dropped to NSW Cup last month but returned a week later.
He is off contract at the end of the year and seems unlikely to be offered a new deal, with New Zealand five-eighth Kieran Foran to shift from Manly to Parramatta next season.
Arthur said on Sunday it was up to Sandow to find form if he wanted to be re-signed.
“He’s the same place he was six weeks ago – if he hasn’t got a contract, he’s still playing for one,” Arthur said.
“Everyone in this club is vital and it’s on a week-to-week basis. At the moment, Chris has a job to do and it’s getting that job done against the Storm.”
The Eels, sitting second last on the ladder with just four wins this year, suffered a worrying fadeout in Monday’s 36-30 loss to North Queensland.