No certainty of Reni Maitua return with Eels

WILL KNIGHT
Last updated 14:15 08/06/2013

Relevant offers

League

Kiwis star Kieran Foran sends thank you text after prescription drug overdose Manu Vatuvei out and about again - this time on his day off with his daughter When the Warriors are crewed by drunken sailors, it's time to abandon ship Konrad Hurrell shares message hinting faith is lost in Warriors coach Andrew McFadden 'Selfless' NRL star James Roberts left partner in labour for Broncos game New Zealand Warriors players contractually obliged to behave Warriors in turmoil as stars stood down after night on the town Five Warriors off-field indiscretions Warriors coach Andrew McFadden must go after week of double disasters Rabbitohs fan boo their own as Sydney NRL club beaten by Wests Tigers

Reni Maitua's immediate future at Parramatta remains uncertain with Eels coach Ricky Stuart not guaranteeing his return next weekend.

After being told on Wednesday he's free to find another NRL club despite having another year to run on his contract, Maitua pulled out of Friday night's clash with the Sydney Roosters.

Parramatta fought back valiantly to within two points of the lead with 10 minutes left but conceded two late tries to lose 38-24.

Hooker Matt Keating, back-rower Matt Ryan, five-eighth Luke Kelly and utility Pat O'Hanlon faced the Roosters after being among the 11 players told they're not wanted next season.

But a stung Maitua chose to sit out following a chat with Stuart following a "deep conversation".

While Stuart expects Maitua to return to training, he conceded the back-rower is not certain to come back into the squad for next Saturday's clash with his former club Cronulla if he's not in the right frame of mind.

"At this stage, I can't see why not (he'll play)," said Stuart.

"I'll sit down and have a chat with him and see where he's at.

"It's no good playing if you don't have your heart in it. And Reni is an honest guy - he'll let me know where he's at and how he's feeling."

Maitua turns 31 next week and is faced with the decision whether to put his hand up to battle the Sharks, where in 2009 he tested positive for a prohibited substance and was banned for two years.

Stuart said he felt for the players affected by the massive clean-out but difficult calls to improve the side's fortunes were part and parcel of being a first-grade coach.

Eels prop Tim Mannah was proud of his players' efforts against the Roosters after a difficult 48 hours.

But he also conceded that a bit of pain to try to create a winning culture was necessary at the Eels, last year's wooden spooners who will go bottom if Wests Tigers beat Penrith on Sunday.

"It's obviously a tough thing to go through but I thought they handled it very well and put in a great performance," said Mannah.

"The process is always tough but the end result is a place we want to all be as players."

Ad Feedback

- AAP

Special offers
Opinion poll

Who is your pick for international league player of the year?

Shaun Johnson

Jesse Bromwich

Sam Burgess

James Graham

Greg Inglis

Johnathan Thurston

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content