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Ricky Stuart quits as Parramatta coach to join Canberra Raiders

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Adrian Proszenko, Michael Carayannis

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How will Stuart's departure affect Eels?

Fairfax Rugby League reporter Brad Walter examines Ricky Stuart's decision to leave Parramatta for Canberra.

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Ricky Stuart has quit Parramatta effective immediately to take up a three-year deal to coach Canberra.

After weeks of speculation, Stuart has activated a get-out clause in his contract with the wooden spooners and will return to the club where he made his name as a premiership-winning halfback.

I sincerely hope the stability the club is entitled to will soon return and reward those people who have genuine commitment and passion for the Eels. 

The former NSW mentor has been tight-lipped about his future but it’s understood that family reasons, coupled with frustrations with a divided Eels boardroom, have prompted the move.

Tough season: Parramatta coach Ricky Stuart.

Tough season: Parramatta coach Ricky Stuart. Photo: Getty Images

He was just one-year into a three-year deal. Former Eels and Rabbitohs coach Jason Taylor and outgoing North Queensland coach Neil Henry are favourites to fill the post.

Raiders directors met to discuss the coaching position prior to Wednesday night’s presentation night and Stuart was preferred in favour of Neil Henry, Andrew Dunemann and Tim Sheens.

‘‘The period I’ve been with the Parramatta Eels has been extremely challenging, not only for me, but for many people like Steve Sharp who clearly have the best interests of the club at heart,’’ Stuart said.

‘‘I sincerely hope the stability the club is entitled to will soon return and reward those people who have genuine commitment and passion for the Eels.’’ 

Stuart informed Sharp about the decision on Wednesday night.

‘‘It’s effective immediately,’’ Stuart’s manager John Fordham said. 

‘‘It ends speculation about his future at the club.’’

A three-year deal with the Raiders is expected in coming days.

‘‘We received advice from the Canberra Raiders that the board had voted to offer him the position on a three-year term. His management will now commence formal negotiations with the Raiders where Stuart won three premierships as a player between ’89-94. Negotiations will commence [Thursday],’’ Fordham said.

Speaking to Fairfax Media just before he was informed of Stuart’s decision, Sharp said that all future playing and coaching contracts would be devoid of ‘get-out clauses’.

Several incoming recruits can wriggle out of their deals now that Stuart is moving on.‘‘I believe some have some clause there but I’m confident all will come because they want to play for Parramatta,’’ Sharp said.

‘‘There’s one thing I can assure everybody, and I’m happy to come out and say this, is no player, coach or official will be signed in the future where they have a clause where they can get out purely because someone moves on.

‘‘It’s all about the club and getting people here who want to play for Parramatta. If they’re only there because of an individual – well there’s a saying no individual is bigger than the game.

‘‘Plenty of people do the hard work behind the scenes to get the finances to put those footballers on the park, so the reward is to see the top players strut their stuff in the team’s colours. I won’t hold that against anyone who has had that before, it seems to be a trend in the game. But I can assure you it won’t happen here in the future.’’ 

Eels skipper Jarryd Hayne was shocked when informed of the news at the Brad Fittler Medal presentation on Wednesday night.

‘‘We always knew there were rumours but I haven’t got confirmation yet and I haven’t been told by club officials,’’ Hayne said.

‘‘It’s obviously a huge shock but as I said I haven’t had anything official, until then I will just have to wait and hear it from the horses mouth. ‘‘It’s definitely been the toughest year of my career. It’s been tough. This news comes out it just makes it worse. We all knew there were rumours going around.

‘‘We heard bits and pieces about it. We had a meeting with Sticky a couple of the senior players and for us we had an idea what was going on. Stick sat us down and gave us his side of things. It was one of those things.’’

NSW coach Laurie Daley, Stuart’s former teammate at the Green Machine, added: ‘‘I am really happy for him. The club has had some dramas this year and they need fixing and they will certainly add some discipline.

‘‘It doesn’t surprise me. He was always the man they wanted, whether he could have moved on was the issue. It’s a match that everyone wanted to see, being a local boy.‘‘I think he is a good fit for the club where they are at at the moment.’’

167 comments

  • What a tosser!! Dug the eels a dirty big hole.

    Commenter
    Jimmy
    Date and time
    September 11, 2013, 11:01PM
    • Furner was the first coach to be sacked at the Raiders. Odds are Ricky will be the second, before his 3 years are up. The only question is how many players will he sack first?

      Commenter
      Eggbert47
      Date and time
      September 12, 2013, 12:39AM
    • Yep.

      What happened to your " 3 year plan" or something like that you put in place?

      You're a hoax.

      Commenter
      The Oracle
      Location
      Oberon
      Date and time
      September 12, 2013, 7:06AM
    • He is a dreadful coach. Walking into a winning Easts team in 2004 and then has failed at everything since; Sharks, NSW, Parra..

      Commenter
      DT
      Date and time
      September 12, 2013, 9:06AM
    • They should rename him Mr Teflon, because no crap sticks on him according the good media coverage he gets.
      Made his 'mark' winning grand final with Roosters, when he was really Gould's apprentice and had a team that was already successful under Murray. Then took roosters down, failed at NSW excuse after excuse, failed at Cronulla and took eels even lower than they were- if that was even imaginable.

      He either has a great manager, PR or some media people or NRL owe him big time.

      Commenter
      C
      Date and time
      September 12, 2013, 9:17AM
    • Now Club management has received what they deserved by showing no loyalty to players and coaches. Good onya Ricky for doing the world a favour. Sad for Parra supporters of course but... you reap what you sow. Now could the Wests Tigers get rid of their board and management team as well? WT is certainly on its way to a race to the bottom from 2014 onwards if they don't...

      Commenter
      Akari
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      September 12, 2013, 9:21AM
    • @DT - he won a premiership with the Roosters, but did nothing but wreck the joint after Phil Gould left the club.

      If he's got someone working above him, he's OK. If he's the top coach, your club is done for.

      Commenter
      ST
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      September 12, 2013, 10:07AM
    • I agree with you, good riddance to Ricky Stuart all he did was talk our team down. The Raiders can have him!

      Commenter
      Betty
      Date and time
      September 12, 2013, 11:11AM
  • Ricky this is an incredibly sad day..... You promised to help us....but you ran away and left us with nothing.

    Commenter
    patch
    Date and time
    September 11, 2013, 11:10PM
    • Patch - I can empathise with you because it's a sad day for many of us Raiders fans too!! Stuart only has a short term 'us against them' strategy, with no discernible substance to follow. What he's done to your team, he'll no doubt do to mine... The Raiders are really up against it for next season now. C'mon lads!!!

      Commenter
      Steph
      Date and time
      September 12, 2013, 7:40AM

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NEW 24vs NZW 14 Report Stats
GCT 18vs WST 19 Report Stats
NQL 4vs SYD 28 Report Stats
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PEN 24vs CBY 18 Report Stats
CRO 20vs CBR 24 Report Stats
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STG 4vs MEL 12 Report Stats
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CBY 32vs PAR 12 Report Stats
CRO 2vs BRI 10 Report Stats
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PEN 40vs GCT 0 Report Stats
MAN 24vs MEL 22 Stats
NQL 14vs NEW 16 Report Stats
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SOU 34vs SYD 26 Stats
CBR 6vs NZW 18 Report Stats
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WST 22vs STG 4 Stats
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MAN 12vs CBY 16 Report Stats
BRI 44vs NQL 22 Report Stats
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NZW 29vs PAR 16 Report Stats
CBR 20vs STG 22 Report Stats
MEL 36vs CRO 18 Report Stats
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SOU 20vs WST 6 Report Stats
GCT 18vs NEW 20 Report Stats
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SYD 20vs PEN 12 Report Stats
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PAR 29vs SOU 16 Report Stats
WST 24vs CBY 25 Report Stats
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NEW 26vs PEN 14 Report Stats
CRO 22vs GCT 24 Report Stats
STG 12vs MAN 4 Report Stats
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NZW 16vs BRI 24 Report Stats
SYD 34vs CBR 6 Report Stats
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NQL 18vs MEL 17 Stats
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Round 5
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CBY 17vs SOU 18 Report Stats
GCT 16vs BRI 26 Report Stats
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MAN 16vs CBR 29 Report Stats
NEW 0vs STG 13 Report Stats
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SYD 12vs CRO 20 Report Stats
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PAR 6vs WST 22 Report Stats
MEL 30vs NZW 14 Report Stats
PEN 10vs NQL 30 Report Stats
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CRO 22vs NEW 6 Report Stats
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PAR 16vs GCT 38 Report Stats
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CBR 10vs MEL 14 Report Stats
STG 31vs CBY 6 Report Stats
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SOU 12vs NQL 30 Report Stats
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CBY 28vs MAN 16 Report Stats
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WST 22vs CBR 30 Report Stats
NEW 22vs PAR 28 Report Stats
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NEW 24vs NQL 26 Report Stats
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MEL 10vs MAN 12 Stats
BRI 28vs PAR 16 Stats
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PEN 26vs CRO 18 Stats
SOU 22vs CBR 30 Stats
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SYD 36vs WST 4 Stats
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CBR 56vs GCT 16 Stats
CRO 16vs NZW 20 Stats
NQL 23vs CBY 16 Stats
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MAN 30vs NEW 10 Stats
PAR 10vs MEL 28 Stats
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SOU 16vs STG 10 Stats
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NQL 31vs BRI 20 Stats
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GCT 22vs CRO 23 Report Stats
MEL 16vs SOU 12 Stats
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STG 32vs CBR 18 Report Stats
NEW 22vs WST 12 Stats
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MAN 10vs PEN 11 Stats
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SOU 14vs PAR 12 Report Stats
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Round 12
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GCT 16vs SOU 22 Report Stats
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NZW 24vs NEW 20 Stats
STG 42vs CRO 6 Stats
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NEW 22vs CBR 44 Stats
SOU 36vs NZW 4 Stats
PEN 0vs MEL 20 Report Stats
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CRO 10vs SYD 4 Stats
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CBY 29vs STG 16 Stats
PAR 30vs NQL 36 Report Stats
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MEL 22vs PAR 26 Report Stats
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Round 15
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GCT 14vs NZW 36 Report Stats
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NEW 28vs CRO 30 Report Stats
MEL 12vs BRI 14 Report Stats
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Round 16
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WST 12vs PEN 35 Stats
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CBY 8vs BRI 16 Stats
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CRO 28vs STG 8 Report Stats
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NEW 30vs GCT 2 Report Stats
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BRI 42vs WST 16 Stats
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MEL 22vs STG 4 Stats
SOU 52vs NEW 6 Stats
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PEN 24vs CBR 34 Report Stats
CBY 16vs CRO 18 Report Stats
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NQL 46vs PAR 4 Stats
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Round 21
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WST 34vs MEL 16 Report Stats
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NQL 32vs CBR 24 Stats
MAN 44vs BRI 14 Stats
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STG 46vs NEW 24 Stats
SOU 20vs PEN 16 Report Stats
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MAN vs SOU 19:45BO
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NZW vs STG 15:00Westpac Stadium
CRO vs NQL 17:30Remondis Stadium
PAR vs PEN 19:30TIO
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MEL vs GCT 14:00AAMI
NEW vs SYD 16:00HS
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Thu, 13 AugTimes shown AEST
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SYD vs PAR 19:30AS
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CBY vs GCT 16:00Central Coast Stadium
Mon, 17 AugTimes shown AEST
CRO vs MEL 19:00Remondis Stadium
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Round 24
Thu, 20 AugTimes shown AEST
STG vs PEN 19:45WIN
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SOU vs CBY 19:45ANZ
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CRO vs WST 15:00Remondis Stadium
NZW vs NQL 17:30MSS
SYD vs BRI 19:30AS
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GCT vs CBR 14:00Cbus Super Stadium
MAN vs PAR 16:00BO
Mon, 24 AugTimes shown AEST
MEL vs NEW 19:00AAMI
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Round 25
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SOU vs BRI 19:45AS
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NEW vs CBY 17:30HS
MEL vs NQL 19:30AAMI
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GCT vs STG 16:00Cbus Super Stadium
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Round 26
Thu, 03 SepTimes shown AEST
BRI vs MEL 19:45SUN
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SYD vs SOU 19:45AS
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PEN vs NEW 15:00Pepper Stadium
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