Eels legend Ray Price demands Brad Arthur move his son out of five-eighth after fans accused coach of nepotism – as Nathan Cleary says trolling made him a better player and will do the same for Jake
- Parramatta great Ray Price desperate to see Dylan Brown remain at five-eighth
- Brown was shifted to the centres the past couple of NRL rounds due to injuries
- Coach Brad Arthur then played his son Jake in halves, nepotism calls followed
- Penrith superstar Nathan Cleary advised young Arthur to stay off social media
Parramatta legend Ray Price has unloaded on Eels coach Brad Arthur, demanding he stop playing his son Jake at five-eighth for the remainder of the NRL season.
Speaking ahead of Friday’s round nine western Sydney blockbuster against the Panthers at Bluebet Stadium, Price, a four-time premiership winner, said it is time for his beloved Eels to ‘pull their heads out of their arse’.
‘I have nothing against his [Arthur’s] son. He is just inexperienced,’ Price explained.
‘If you want to win the comp, they are going about it the wrong way. Why would you change your half and five-eighth combination?’
With a raft of injuries to Parramatta’s outside backs, Arthur raised plenty of eyebrows after shifting regular and in-form pivot Dylan Brown to the centres and playing his son in the halves against Newcastle on April 24.
Parramatta coach Brad Arthur has been savaged online from Eels fans after playing his son Jake (pictured) in the halves the past two weeks – and shifting in-form pivot Dylan Brown to the centres
Superstar Panthers halfback Nathan Cleary also heard the nepotism slurs in 2019 when Penrith lost eight of their first 10 matches
The Eels cruised to a 39-2 win in round seven at McDonald Jones Stadium, but were hammered 35-4 by the Cowboys in Darwin last Saturday.
Young Arthur had a poor 80 minutes, and was the target of heavy criticism on social media at fulltime, with fans accusing his father of nepotism.
Star Panthers halfback Nathan Cleary can sympathise, having been a target himself when Penrith lost eight of their first 10 matches in 2019.
With his old man Ivan the head coach, plenty called for the father and son to be banished from first grade.
‘It was tough. There was a lot of stuff being said,’ Cleary told the Daily Telegraph.
Parramatta legend Ray Price has unloaded on Eels coach Brad Arthur, demanding he not play his son Jake at five-eighth for the remainder of the NRL season
‘I wasn’t glad it [trolling] happened at the time, but I’m glad it happened now, it helped me deal with a few different things to get the mental state right.’
Cleary has admitted he blocks out criticism these days, but early in his career it did get under his skin at times and rattled him.
He encouraged young Arthur to steer clear of social media and was happy to chat to the young playmaker if need be to pass on some sage advice.