Parramatta Eels hooker Mark Riddell has been working overtime in the Rugby League off-season, the prominent rake shedding 8 kilo’s off his bulky frame with the aid of the Eels training staff. Barely recognizable after the makeover, Riddell cuts a noticeably different physique.
Copping plenty of jibes from his teammates, Riddell has successfully transferred into a leaner and faster player with the Eels obviously looking for more potency and speed of foot, after the loss of PJ Marsh to the Broncos.
While Eels players laughed and joked about Mark Riddell’s new found fitness during a press conference this week, the usually jovial hooker was focusing hard on a drills session with the assistance of Andrew Johns. It’s a good sign for both Piggy and the Eels – with insiders suggesting that Riddell may look to the UK Super League for 2009 regardless of his current agreement with Parramatta that ends next year.
It seems in this years competition, Riddell may be called upon to play extra minutes and continue to rotate into the forward pack when needed. His new regime puts him in good stead to take some workload away from busy backrowers Nathan Hindmarsh and Chad Robinson – allowing the Eels more options in attack when they have the ball in hand.