It was dramatically late but Parramatta have assembled a deadly left-side combination that will be the envy of the NRL.
The Eels’ signing of star centre Michael Jennings on Monday means coach Brad Arthur now has two of the most potent strike weapons in the league.
The representative three-quarter is almost certain to partner two-time Dally M winger Semi Radradra on a frightening left flank that scored a combined 32 tries in 2015.
Jennings has scored 112 tries in just 193 career games while Radradra has an even better strike rate at 48 in 49 matches.
Individually the high-octane pair cross the line on average 66 times every 100 games and will be more potent as a combination, a prospect that will strike fear into the hearts of every opposition coach.
The off-season musical chairs continued on Monday with Jennings to be replaced at Bondi by unwanted Brisbane centre Dale Copley.
The former Penrith star will shift back to Sydney’s west and link with a club he once admitted hating.
In an interview in 2011, he said: “I don’t hate the Parramatta players, just the team they represent.
“If you come through the Penrith juniors, you’re brought up to hate Parra. That’s how I was brought up and I’m sure it’s still going on.”
Now Jennings has been tasked by new coach Brad Arthur to help nurture his young Eels teammates.
“Michael’s success in the game as a premiership-winner and in representative rugby league is obvious, and he’ll be a real leader and mentor to some of the younger outside backs we have in our NRL squad,” he said.
It’s a challenge the NSW centre has embraced with open arms as he joins Kieran Foran, Beau Scott, Clinton Gutherson and Michael Gordon as new faces at the club.
“Parramatta’s a club on the rise and I’m looking forward to the challenge, taking a leadership role and further developing my game,” Jennings said.
“I have some really good mates at the club – boys I’ve grown up with – and I’m confident we can do well in the coming years.”
Jennings has played 193 NRL games and made 16 State of Origin appearances for the Blues. He’s also scored six tries in seven Tests for Australia.