Manly hooker Matt Parcell has joined Leeds on a three-year deal as Leeds Rhinos move on from James Segeyaro.
After the shock move of James Segeyaro informing the Rhinos that he will not return to England and honour his contract that runs through to the end of the 2018 season, Leeds were on the hunt for a replacement at Hooker.
Leeds contacted Manly about the availability of Parcell, who is currently enjoyed a solid pre-season with Sea Eagles and was set to battle it out with Apisai Kourisou for the number nine jersey in the 2017 season.
Manly head of football Bob Fulton and Coach Trent Barrett informed Parcell that Leeds had shown interest in him, which Parcell was open to explore and then the negotiations between Manly and Leeds got serious.
Parcell’s manager Clinton Schifcofske, Bob Fulton and Leeds Rhinos chief executive Gary Hetherington all sat down to nut out the deal.
“Manly have great respect for Gary Hetherington and the Rhinos. They are a professionally run club and the Rhinos will be a good fit for Matt Parcell who is a young player starting out on his career,” Fulton said.
“We are well off for hookers and this gives Matt a wonderful opportunity at a great club. Hopefully it is the start of a long term association between the clubs. The owners of the Sea Eagles, the Penn family, have great respect for the Rhinos.”
The Rhinos have paid an undisclosed transfer fee for Parcell.
Leeds Rhinos chief executive Gary Hetherington applauded Manly for their co-operation and was pleased with the strong relationship between the two clubs.
“Manly have been thoroughly professional in their dealings and Bob Fulton has shown great understanding in giving young Parcell an opportunity to ply his trade in England for the right reasons,” Hetherington said.
“We have enjoyed a good relationship with the management at the club which developed after our two World Club Challenge meetings and that has continued to develop since. After speaking with Bob Fulton we both feel we can further strengthen our relationship in the future.
“We have had great success with players from Manly over the years with Cliffy Lyons regarded as one of the best players to play with both clubs and, in more recent seasons, former Manly junior Adam Cuthbertson has been one of our best forwards.”
Leeds Rhinos coach was pleased with the new signing of Parcell also.
“We are delighted to have signed Matt and look forward to welcoming him to the Rhinos,” said Leeds head coach Brian McDermott.
“He is a player we have been monitoring for a while and were keen to bring him here before his move to Manly.
“His natural abilities will certainly suit the style of play in Super League, however we are also conscious that it will take time for him to settle into this pivotal role in the team.
“He is a smart player with a great rugby league pedigree and I am sure he will be a big hit with the Rhinos fans.”
Parcell who joined Manly at the end of the 2015 season said he has enjoyed his time at Manly but could not turn down the opportunity to play in England and for a club like Leeds.
“I have nothing but respect for my team-mates and the coaching staff here at the Sea Eagles,” Parcell said.
“The club has been good to me since I moved down from Queensland and it was an honour to wear the great Manly colours. I wish Trent and the boys all the very best for 2017 and beyond.
“I’m excited to have signed a deal with Leeds Rhinos. After talking to Gary and Brian, I think the brand of football they want to play is really going to suit my game.
“Playing in England has always been something that I have wanted to do and I’m looking forward to the move.”
Parcell has played 21 NRL games since his debut with the Brisbane Broncos in the 2015 season.