Fijian winger Semi Radradra has sensationally quit the Parramatta Eels to take up a contract in French Rugby with Toulon worth more than $1 million per season.
He will play out the 2017 NRL season with Parramatta.
This comes just a month after Radradra wouldn’t commit to the Eels past 2017.
Radradra caused headlines all over the rugby league world back in 2016 when he threatened to quit the Eels for French Rugby club Toulon. Toulon even went as far as announcing that he had signed with the club before Parramatta dug their heels in and forced Radradra to honour his contract with the Western Sydney club.
He will miss up to half of the French Rugby season and will not be eligible to play for Toulon until November.
Parramatta was unable to compete with the big money offer of Toulon but had offered the Fijian a sizeable offer of $1.5 million over three years. Parramatta CEO Marty Gurr told the media that the club had done everything in its power to keep the Fijian flyer
“In early December, the Eels indicated our wish to keep Semi at our club by making a very attractive offer to Semi for 2017 (an upgrade of existing contract), 2018 and 2019,” Gurr said.
“The offer from Toulon was substantially higher than our club’s offer. We look forward to Semi being a most productive member of the Eels playing squad and then we wish Semi well in his rugby union venture with Toulon.”
It is still not certain how much Radradra will play in 2017 with a looming court case on February 13 hanging over the head of both Radradra and the Eels. He has a charge of domestic violence brought against him from his former partner Perina Ting and in November of last year was forced to relinquish his passport.
The winger has been a cult hero at Parramatta since making his debut in 2013 and has posted a phenomenal record of 60 tries in 68 matches.
His loss will be a big blow for the Eels who are still $500,000 under the salary cap for the 2017 season after the retirement of Anthony Watmough and the release of New Zealand half Kieran Foran.