Ennis backs Stuart to revive Eels

Michael Ennis believes Ricky Stuart can transform Parramatta just like Des Hasler has rejuvenated Canterbury, if he’s appointed as Eels coach.

Stuart is widely tipped to be Stephen Kearney’s successor after the New Zealand Test coach announced his resignation last Friday after 18 difficult months in the role.

The Bulldogs have thrived under Hasler since his arrival from Manly at the end of last season and sit top of the NRL ladder on the back of seven successive wins.

And Ennis, who played under Stuart for NSW last year, said he would be a perfect appointment for the Eels.

“There’s certainly no doubt that there are some terrific coaches at this level,” Ennis said.

“I include Ricky as one of them. He has done a terrific job at Origin level and been very successful at club football too.

“He’s taken the Roosters to grand finals and he took Cronulla into the top eight under very difficult circumstances in 2008.”

The Bulldogs face North Queensland on Saturday at ANZ Stadium and will be without in-form prop Sam Kasiano and also halfback Kris Keating, who damaged his hamstring in the win over Manly on Friday.

Joel Romelo is likely to get the nod to replace the former Parramatta playmaker with Trent Hodkinson gone for the year with a shoulder injury.

The 23-year-old will meet with Canterbury’s management this week to find out if he’ll be offered a new contract and admits replacing Keating would give him the chance to put himself in the shop window.

“I’ll be a little bit disappointed if I don’t play, I finished the back end of last season under Jimmy Dymock playing on the left side last year in the halves and know I can do a job,” Romelo said.

“I am having a meeting this week and will know a bit more about my future then.

“I love the Bulldogs and would love to stay. It is a very good time to be around the club.

“One bloke’s loss is another one’s gain so I hope I go well.”

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