NRL outfit Parramatta Eels confirm five departures, including Super League-bound forward and ex-Hull KR veteran

Ben Olawumi
Jack Murchie, NRL

Jack Murchie (second left) will be a Huddersfield Giants player in 2024 - Alamy

Following a 10th place finish in the NRL, Parramatta Eels have today confirmed five departures, including that of Huddersfield Giants-bound Jack Murchie.

Forward Murchie‘s move over to Super League was announced by the Giants back in August, joining on a three-year deal until the end of 2026.

The 26-year-old – who played his junior rugby with the Milton-Ulladulla Bulldogs – was granted an early release by Parramatta to make the switch to the John Smith’s Stadium, with 12 months left on his contract down under.

Huddersfield will be the Batemans Bay-born second-rower’s first taste of Super League action having accrued 45 NRL appearances.

The vast majority of those came for New Zealand Warriors, with just five for Parramatta this year, and three for Canberra Raiders at the start of Murchie’s career.

Jack Murchie and retiring ex-Hull KR veteran Josh Hodgson amongst Parramatta Eels departures

Amongst the other departures from 2022 NRL Grand Finalists Parramatta is former England and Great Britain ace Josh Hodgson, who – turning 34 today – retires and heads into a coaching role in the club’s youth setup.

The Hull-born hooker played for both FC & KR in Super League, making the move down under to Canberra Raiders ahead of the 2015 campaign after 134 appearances for the Robins.

Spending eight seasons with the Raiders and becoming a co-captain, Hodgson featured in the 2019 NRL Grand Final as they were beaten by the Sydney Roosters.

And having played 12 times this term for the Eeels, he has now been forced into hanging up his boots on medical advice.

Three other departures from NRL outfit Parramatta

Long-standing Parramatta head coach Brad Arthur also sees Waqa Blake, Andrew Davey and Samuel Loizou depart the club on the back of a disappointing campaign.

Fiji international Blake has been at the CommBank Stadium for the last four-and-a-half seasons, scoring 28 tries in 77 NRL appearances.

Forward Davey meanwhile brings an end to his second stint with Parramatta, retiring alongside Hodgson. The Queensland-born ace will turn 32 next month, and only made his NRL debut with the Eels in 2020 having quit his full-time job as a carpenter to do so.

Also playing for Manly Sea Eagles and Canterbury Bulldogs, Davey hangs up the boots with 44 NRL appearances to his name in total.

Lastly, youngster Louizou departs having come through the Eels youth system, joining as a teenager and debuting in 2021 in a heavy defeat to Penrith Panthers.

Of Greek-Cypriot heritage, the outside-back will turn 21 on Christmas Day, and has spent the last two years back in the New South Wales Cup.

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