NRL 2022: Parramatta Eels rocked by ‘nepotism’ finding in internal report ahead of final against Canberra Raiders

The Parramatta Eels have been rocked by a shock internal review claiming there is “nepotism” at the club.

The Eels are preparing for their must-win semi-final on Friday night against the Canberra Raiders after they lost 27-8 to Penrith in last weekend’s qualifying final.

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Fox League has revealed details of an internal review conducted by former NRL coach Nathan Brown, which include several damning findings:

— There was a perception of nepotism in the appointment of staff and players

— Better connection needed from NRL to Flegg and to Junior Reps

— Acknowledgment of all staff across all programs could be better

— Skill development of players could be better with the ‘Eels philosophy’

— Role clarity needs to be better communicated and the communication across all roles needs to be clearer.

The findings of the elite pathways report were presented to Parramatta’s board on August 31.

There is no suggestion the claim of nepotism in the briefing document has any relation to current Parramatta coach Brad Arthur or his son Jakob, who has been selected to come off the bench in favour of Bryce Cartwright in the game against the Raiders.

The leaked report couldn’t come at a worse time for the Eels, who will be hoping to avoid another failed finals series and progress to the preliminary final with a win over Canberra at CommBank Stadium.

The aim of the elite pathways review was to give the Parramatta board a broad view of the club’s performance across Harold Matthews, SG Ball, Jersey Flegg and how the lower grades feed into the NRL squad.

Arthur’s finals record of two wins out of nine appearances will come under further scrutiny if the Eels lose this weekend.

Fox League also reports questions have been raised over why ex-NSW forward Nathan Brown — who is on $550,000 per season and is contracted for next year — hasn’t been able to crack into Parramatta’s NRL side.

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