Injury has not been kind to him in 2014 but NRL centre Beau Champion is keen for a new start and a fresh opportunity and he has one, signing with the Parramatta Eels for the 2015 season.
After completing his current deal with the South Sydney Rabbitohs, the 27-year old centre will make the move West to the Eels, a move that coach Brad Arthur is pleased with.
â€œBeau is a great competitor and athlete, and will be a valuable addition to our side for 2015,â€ said Arthur.
â€œHe will bring back line experience to our team, and maturity to our young squad.â€
For Champion himself, who has previously played for the Bunnies, the Melbourne Storm and the Gold Coast Titans, he feels honoured to be a part of a club on the rise and with so many talented players.
â€œItâ€™s a fantastic opportunity to come to a club that I believe is on the rise, with a lot of young talent,â€ Champion said.
â€œIâ€™m looking forward to the chance to play alongside these young players and be part of the Eels next year.â€
Eels CEO Scott Seward also applauded the signing, acknowledging the depth Champion offers within the team.
â€œItâ€™s a great sign for the Eels to have players of Beauâ€™s calibre interested in joining our ranks,â€ Parramatta Eels CEO Scott Seward said.
â€œThe club is building a squad with depth and balance in key positions, and I look forward to seeing what Beau will bring next season.â€
The Souths club was like a home to Champion and with 80 of his first-grade games coming at the club – including his NRL debut – he is forever indebted to the club.
â€œI want to say a big thank you to the Members and fans of the Rabbitohs, and everyone in the South Sydney community, for the support theyâ€™ve given me over the past ten years,â€ Champion said.
â€œThey have helped create some great memories for me that will stay with me for the rest of my life.
â€œIâ€™m a South Sydney junior and I was very proud man every time Iâ€™ve had the opportunity to pull on the red and green jersey.
â€œI also want to thank the South Sydney Football Club for the opportunity to play first grade for this club originally in 2005 and when I returned in 2013.
â€œUnfortunately this year hasnâ€™t been the best personally on the field for me, but Iâ€™ll be cheering the boys on for the rest of the season and through the finals.
â€œThe Rabbitohs will always be part of me.â€
Knowing that he is departing, Souths coach Michael Maguire praised Champion for his continued commitment to the club even though he is injured.
â€œBeau has been great for us despite not being able to play a lot of games since coming back to the Club last year,â€ Maguire said.
â€œHe is a South Sydney man and one of the great clubmen amongst this squad.
â€œWeâ€™re pleased heâ€™s going to get another opportunity to play in the NRL at Parramatta and we wish him the best of luck for next year.
â€œFor now, heâ€™s very much part of our squad and weâ€™re looking forward to enjoying the rest of the season with him.â€