Rugby League

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Waterski accident puts skids on young Eel's burgeoning career

THE playing career of one of rugby league's hottest prospects, Blake Harrison, is in jeopardy after the Parramatta recruit was badly injured in a waterskiing accident.

Harrison, the brother of NRL forward Daniel Harrison, followed his older sibling from Manly to the Eels in the off-season despite interest from 10 rival clubs. The 17-year-old requires a series of operations after snapping cruciate and medial ligaments, as well as dislocating his knee and rupturing his lateral cartilage last week.

''He'll be gone for next year, next year is a write-off,'' said Harrison's manager, John Frare. ''Parramatta have been really supportive … all they are concerned about is his welfare.''

Last season, at just 16, Harrison forced his way into the Sea Eagles NYC team for the final three months of the competition. The NSW under-17 back row representative, who stands at 1.93 metres, is already bigger than his older brother.

But there are concerns he will never play again. ''He's likely to be in and out of hospital for the next 12 months,'' Frare said.

Another of Frare's clients, NSW and Manly utility Jamie Buhrer, will be racing the clock to be fit for round one next year after tearing his medial ligament off the bone. Buhrer is in a brace after slipping during a shuttle run, part of his own off-season training regime. The setback forced him to cancel an overseas holiday.

Meanwhile, Bulldogs utility David Stagg is heading home to play out his career with the Brisbane Broncos where he made his NRL debut a decade ago.