NRL: Anthony Watmough out, Nathan Hindmarsh in for Eels according to word around town

By @hoopsdontstop30 on
Nathan Hindmarsh
Britain's Jon Wilkin (L) attempts to avoid the tackle of Australia's Nathan Hindmarsh during their Tri Nations rugby league test at the Sydney Football Stadium November 4, 2006. Reuters/Tim Wimborne

Parramatta Eels star Anthony Watmough faces immediate retirement due to a chronic knee injury, while Nathan Hindmarsh is set for a shocking return to the club he served for 15 seasons.

In a shocking turn of events, the Eels are bound to lose a star with Watmough facing a career-ending injury, but are also expected to immediately have someone to fill that void in Hindmarsh, who is considering an NRL return.

According to Fox Sports Australia, Watmough’s knee has degenerated so badly that the 32-year-old struggles to train, and required painkilling injections to play for the majority of last season. The Eels backrower has endured a hugely disrupted preseason with the Eels due to his injury after undergoing surgery in July.

Eels coach Brad Arthur admitted he has not heard about any retirement talks surrounding Watmough and insists that they still expect the Australian Test forward to play for Round 2 or Round 3.

Watmough has won two premierships with the Manly Sea Eagles in 2008 and 2011, 14 State of Origin matches for New South Wales and 16 Test matches for Australia. He played a total of 303 NRL matches, eight for the Northern Eagles, 287 for Manly and 17 for the Eels.

Meanwhile, Hindmarsh could find himself replacing Watmough if the latter really pushes into retirement. The 36-year-old Hindmarsh has not played since retiring at the end of the 2012 season, but the lure of winning a premiership would be one of the reasons he is strongly considering a return to Parramatta.

“We’ll see. To go back playing after four years …it’s going to be a massive decision,” Hindmarsh told Triple M, reports Sporting News. “I’ve got to sit down and speak to my wife about it and speak to trainers and see if my body is going to cope with it.”

However, Hindmarsh also revealed to the Parramatta Advertiser that his plans to return was a hoax, according to the Daily Telegraph.

“Mate, I’m 36. We were talking about the news about ‘Choc’ [Watmough] and I was asked in the spur of the moment,” Hindmarsh said. “I think a few people have taken it seriously but it was all a bit of fun.”

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