Brad Arthur breaks silence over furore surrounding son Jake – and won’t hesitate to pick him again


Brad Arthur breaks silence over furore surrounding son Jake and says he won’t hesitate to pick him at five-eighth again despite furious fans accusing him of nepotism

  • Parramatta coach Brad Arthur felt online criticism of his son from fans was unfair
  • Huge injury toll saw Jake Arthur handed elevated to the NRL last two rounds
  • The 19-year-old was poor versus Cowboys, was then hammered on social media

Parramatta coach Brad Arthur has declared he won’t hesitate to pick his son Jake at five-eighth again this season for the Eels – despite nepotism taunts on social media from disgruntled fans.

Arthur broke his silence on Thursday and said a raft of injuries left him with no choice but to shift in-form pivot Dylan Brown to the centres and promote his son to play in the halves alongside Mitchell Moses.

Arthur, 19, didn’t look out of place in the number six jersey in Parramatta’s 39-2 win over a miserable Newcastle on April 24 – but was poor in their last-start 35-4 defeat against the Cowboys in Darwin. 

Parramatta coach Brad Arthur will pick his son Jake at five-eighth this season for the Eels if he is needed – despite nepotism taunts on social media from angry fans

The 19-year-old had a shocker against the Cowboys last start - and frustrated Eels supporters didn't hold back in their assessment online

The 19-year-old had a shocker against the Cowboys last start – and frustrated Eels supporters didn’t hold back in their assessment online

Eels fans gave the coach both barrels after the lopsided loss.

‘Match Report: Parramatta Eels coach moves in-form halfback into the centres to accommodate work experience for his son,’ one supporter wrote.  

‘Your son [Jake Arthur] needs more game time in the reserve grade,’ a user wrote. ‘At the moment we got one of the best inform five-eight in the game [Dylan Brown]. He needs to get back to five-eight for us to win,’ another said.

‘At the end of the day, we have 19 players of our squad available of only 28 that are in the top 30. I did what every coach would do, pick your best 17 and then I put them in positions,’ coach Arthur said.

‘It worked for us the week before and it didn’t work [against the Cowboys]. It certainly wasn’t his fault. I felt like we didn’t compete at every contest and we didn’t have the same attitude or effort as the week before.

‘He’s still a valuable member of our squad and, if something was to happen in the halves, he gets an opportunity.’

Arthur added the criticism had stung him personally, but Jake – who will play in the NSW Cup on Friday night at Bluebet Stadium – wasn’t rattled by the vicious social media criticism.

‘It’s unfair but it is what it is. People are entitled to their opinion but it’s always harder when it’s your own flesh and blood,’ he told the Daily Telegraph.

Coach Brad Arthur added the vicious criticism had stung him personally, but Jake wasn't rattled by the negativity

Coach Brad Arthur added the vicious criticism had stung him personally, but Jake wasn’t rattled by the negativity

‘He (Jake) is fine. He doesn’t do social media so he didn’t know a hell of a lot of what was going on. ‘He asked me on Monday night what all the commotion was around and I told him. We just moved on.’

In welcome news for Arthur and Eels fans, Tom Opacic will play in Friday night’s battle of the west against Penrith at Bluebet Stadium – and promising outside back Sean Russell will return in NSW Cup.

The winger has been sidelined with a punctured lung and broken ribs after a knees-first tackle by Gold Coast fullback Jayden Campbell in round one.   

Maika Sivo (ACL), Haze Dunster (ACL), Marata Niukore (hamstring) and Waqa Blake (knee) are all unavailable for the Eels.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk