Cap stories an unwelcome distraction for Eels

Injured second rower Anthony Watmough watches from the stand during the Parramatta Eels' round-one clash with the Brisbane Broncos at Pirtek Stadium. Photo: AAP Image/Paul Miller.
Injured second rower Anthony Watmough watches from the stand during the Parramatta Eels' round-one clash with the Brisbane Broncos at Pirtek Stadium. Photo: AAP Image/Paul Miller.

PARRAMATTA coach Brad Arthur is under siege with the club's latest salary cap investigation certain to prove a distraction to his players preparing to tackle reigning NRL premier North Queensland on Saturday night.

The Eels are embroiled in yet another salary cap drama, this time allegedly involving free game-day hospitality in return for third-party deals and mysterious payments of $39,000 to ex-Eel and NFL player Jarryd Hayne.

Parramatta was recently slapped with a $465,000 fine for cap breaches in 2014 and started this season under the threat of having four premiership points deducted if the club failed to fix its governance issues.

Eels spokesman Josh Drayton said: "The club denies these allegations show impropriety or wrongdoing in relation to the salary cap."

The NRL has received leaked documentation which allegedly confirms a Parramatta board meeting was warned about a potential salary cap problem when the club signed former Manly forward, Anthony Watmough.

Parramatta fans will hope marquee signing Kieran Foran makes his debut for the club at Pirtek Stadium after missing round one with a hamstring injury.

The Eels went down to Brisbane 17-4 after losing key playmaker Corey Norman just before half-time.

Norman injured his neck after being driven head-first into the ground in a tackle, but is expected to play against the Cowboys.


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