Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Eels Expected to Chase Tonga; Cowboy Decides He Wants to Go South

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Eels Expected to Chase Tonga; Cowboy Decides He Wants to Go South

Article excerpt

PARRAMATTA is expected to be in the box seat to snap up Willie Tonga for next season after the release yesterday of the Maroons centre from the final year of his North Queensland Cowboys contract.

After months of speculation linking him with the Eels, Tonga may announce within days that he is returning to Parramatta a the scene of the start of his NRL career in 2002 a where his brother Esi Tonga will be playing next season.

Eels chief executive Paul Osborne would not comment yesterday on the matter.

Tonga has also been linked with Sydney Roosters but the Queensland flier is tipped to be headed for the Eels, who may soon have room to move under the salary cap following news that Daniel Mortimer has been given permission to explore his options in the UK.

A Mortimer release would reportedly free up more than $500,000 over the next two years, allowing the Eels to snap up Tonga without cutting any more players.

Cowboys general manager of football Peter Parr said the club and Tonga had reached a mutual agreement that it was best he looked for a contract with another NRL club at season's end. …

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