Leeds Rhinos have this morning confirmed the signing of hooker Matt Parcell from NRL side Manly Sea Eagles on a 3-year deal.
The 24-year old, who made a name for himself playing in the Intrust Super Cup for Ipswich Jets, is an exciting player who has been tipped for a bright future in rugby league. Jets coach Ben Walker, formerly a Leeds player, said earlier on this year that Parcell could become a State of Origin player later on in his career.
The Australian is an extremely quick player with clever feet, and is also a great support player. In his time with the Jets, he also showed an eye for the try line, particularly when he returned to the club for a brief time in 2015, scoring 8 tries in 3 games and helping Ipswich secure a first ever Super Cup win.
Parcell has made 21 NRL appearances since making his debut for Brisbane Broncos in May 2015. He played 6 times in total for the Broncos before going back to Ipswich, but then transferred to Manly ahead of 2016, for whom he played 15 games and scored 2 tries.
He joins the Rhinos after being granted a release from his contract with the Sea Eagles which still had a further 2 years to run, and will replace James Segeyaro in the Leeds squad after the Papua New Guinean made it clear he will not be returning to Headingley for the upcoming season.
Parcell spoke of his excitement to be making the switch to Leeds, saying: “I’m excited to have signed a deal with Leeds Rhinos. After I talked to Gary and Brian I think the brand of football they want to play is really going to suit my game. Playing in England has always been something that I have wanted to do and I’m looking forward to the move.”
His new coach Brian McDermott also commented on the deal: “We are delighted to have signed Matt and look forward to welcoming him to the Rhinos. He is a player we have been monitoring for a while and were keen to bring him here before his move to Manly. His natural abilities will certainly suit the style of play in Super League however we are also conscious that it will take time for him to settle into this pivotal role in the team. He is a smart player with a great Rugby League pedigree and I am sure he will be a big hit with the Rhinos fans.”
Parcell will link up with the rest of the Leeds squad in the new year to start his preparations for the 2017 campaign, which is now just over 7 weeks away.