Eels target Folau as Hayne replacement

Parramatta Eels have begun the search to find a replacement for Jarryd Hayne, who is leaving to try his hand at the NFL.

With $1 million to play with in their budget, due to Hayne’s departure, the club is looking to bring Israel Folau back from rugby union.

“Anybody who says they don’t want Izzy is lying to you,” Eels CEO Scott Seward told News Corp.

“We’ll look at every opportunity out there and if he wants to come back to rugby league, we’ll certainly be a club that wants to have a chat with him.

“From a player perspective, we can definitely attack a little more than we could before. We have to attack.

“We have to find a replacement for the best player in the game and we will. Obviously you can’t replace Jarryd — I don’t think we should try — but we do want a side that can get out there and win the competition.”

Hayne himself believes that Folau would be a good fit for the Eels.

“Izzy is really close to Timmy Mannah and Junior Paulo too and we all go to church together as well,” Hayne told the Triple M Grill Team.

“We’re always talking about the possibility of Izzy coming to Parra.

“I know for a fact that deep down he loves rugby league.

“So I’m sure if the opportunity came up and the deal was right, then I’m sure Izzy would come back.

“He lives in Kellyville too so he is a local boy.”

Another name linked with the Eels is Wallabies back Kurtley Beale. It doesn’t look like will be linking up with the club, however.

“I don’t think Kurtley would be at the Eels,” Seward added.

“I have never met Kurtley and don’t know a lot about him, but I’m not sure he would be the right fit for what we’re trying to build at this footy club.

“But the net will certainly be cast far and wide. There might be someone coming off contract in 2016 who is unhappy where they are, there might be a club which has surplus requirements.”

Reports have also surfaced Down Under that the Eels are interested in adding Wigan prop Gil Dudson to their squad for next season.

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