Legend blasts ‘travesty’ of Clint Gutherson switch as Eels target discard for No.1

The Eels are reportedly considering luring former player Bevan French back to the club to play fullback, with skipper Clint Gutherson set to shift to centre.

The Daily Telegraph’s David Riccio reported the Eels were in “secret talks” and closing in on a deal to bring the previously unwanted flyer French back to Parramatta for 2021.

“I believe that the Eels will nab Bevan French and he will be on his way back to Australia pretty soon,” Riccio told NRL tonight.

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“This popped up last week as far as the Parramatta Eels potentially considering moving Clint Gutherson to the right centre position.

“Gutherson could also move into the left centre position depending on their availability out wide, given the situation regarding Michael Jennings.”

Jennings has a fight on his hands to clear his name over drug charges, but Tigers legend Benny Elias said he wouldn’t be moving Gutherson from the No.1 jersey.

“Why would you let Gutherson move positions?” Elias said on NRL Tonight.

“The strongest position for Gutherson is fullback. He has been an absolute revelation for the Eels this year.

“He has been their best player consistently and you know that he is going to touch the ball every set of six.


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“For a player of his speed and footwork I wouldn’t move him anywhere. If they did that I think it would be an absolute travesty for the Eels.”

Elias believes Gutherson’s strengths come from broken field play and coming in and out of the attacking line, which he can’t do from centre.

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“His best work is when he chimes into the backline and when he returns the football and sniffs around the ruck,” Elias said.

“That’s his power and that’s his strength and to take that away from him because you’ve got to set yourself as a centre, you’ve got a very rigid and disciplined role to play.

Bevan French during his last stint with the Eels in 2018.Source:AAP

“You just don’t have that ability to be flexible around the ruck and that is where he is very good and light on his feet and that has been why he is so good.”

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Originally published asEels in ‘secret’ talks with discarded star — and it could force Gutho out of the No.1 jersey

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