Michael Jennings

It was rumoured for a while and it has eventuated, with NSW representative centre Michael Jennings making the switch from the Eastern Suburbs to Western Sydney.

Jennings, who has been at the Roosters for some years now, heads back to Western Sydney to play for the Parramatta Eels, having previously played for the Penrith Panthers.

The four year deal strengthens the Eels side and back-line and for Jennings, the chance to play in a team that he sees is going places was one of the keys for him.

“I’m really excited about joining the Eels,” Jennings said.

“Parramatta’s a club on the rise and I’m looking forward to the challenge, taking a leadership role and further developing my game.”

Playing alongside some previous team-mates at the club was also a key factor for Jennings.

“I have some really good mates at the club – boys I’ve grown up with – and I’m confident we can do well in the coming years,” said Jennings.

“It will be a new experience playing out of the home sheds at Pirtek Stadium but it’s something I’m very excited about and I can’t wait to get started.”

With the Eels planning and progressing both on and off the field, his signature will be a welcome boost for the club.

“Michael is very keen to join the Eels based on the direction the club is going and the environment we’re building, and he’ll be a valuable asset on and off the field,” CEO John Boulous said.

“We have a very specific strategic plan for the next few seasons and his belief in our club’s purpose will help deliver that.”

Those sentiments were echoed by Head Coach Brad Arthur.

“Michael’s success in the game as a premiership-winner and in representative rugby league is obvious, and he’ll be a real leader and mentor to some of the younger outside backs we have in our NRL squad,” Arthur said.

“I look forward to what he can bring to Parramatta.”

Long-term longevity was an important part in the move for Jennings’ and whilst he will miss the Roosters, he knows that this is the best move for his career.

“While I’m sad to be leaving, I know it’s the right call for my long-term future and I’m excited about that,” said Jennings.

“I’m a better person for my time at the Roosters. From Robbo and all the staff and players, I’ve been part of a great family at the Club.

I’ve made some lifelong friends over the last three years and the Roosters will always be special to me,” he added.

The Roosters gave their thanks to Jennings for his service to the club, and coach Trent Robinson praised the work of Jennings over the last couple of seasons.

“Jenko is a good man and I’ve loved coaching him. He’s had a big impact on the development of some of the younger players at the Roosters, and his contribution will live long in the memories of everyone associated with the Club,” said Robinson.

“I know I speak on behalf of everyone associated with the Roosters in wishing Jenko and his wife Kirra all the very best,” he added.

By ricky

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