Parramatta halfback Chris Sandow will play NSW Cup this weekend instead of enjoying the bye as a result of his poor start to the season.
A marquee acquisition for the Eels, earning an estimated $550,000, a season Sandow has performed below expectations to date in 2012, as have Parramatta themselves in winning only one match.
Eels coach Stephen Kearney has made little secret of his disappointment at Sandow's form and has taken action, allowing him to be named for feeder club Wentworthville for their NSW Cup match against Canterbury at Belmore Sports Ground on Sunday.
Last weekend, Kearney dragged Sandow from the field before full-time of the Eels’ 24-18 defeat to Cronulla at Toyota Stadium and has admitted his star playmaker could contribute more.
Sandow has also been criticised for being overweight by Parramatta’s greatest halfback, Peter Sterling.
Wentworthville coach Brett Cook usually discusses potential team changes with Kearney early in the week, which has seen him gain Parramatta veteran Luke Burt and forward Justin Horo for the bulk of this season.
But he only found out about Sandow’s availability for their clash with Canterbury late this afternoon.
And this time it was Eels’ media manager Doug MacDougall who had to relay Kearney’s message to Cook.
‘‘The position I’m in I never really know until the end if he is playing or if he’s not, but anyone who comes back with (Sandow’s) experience is a bonus to our guys,’’ Cook told AAP.
‘‘It’s usually done for a reason to get blokes a bit more footy and a bit of a run in most cases.’’