National News

Arthur not banking on Moses NRL release

Parramatta coach Brad Arthur has all but accepted Mitchell Moses won't be part of the Eels 2017 premiership campaign.

Widely tipped to join Parramatta this week, Moses is set to play in the Wests Tigers' clash against Canterbury on Sunday and remain at Concord until the end of the year.

"Mitchell Moses is a Wests Tigers player," Arthur said ahead of the Eels' match against Penrith.

"Whatever happens there is their decision. All we can worry about is us trying to back up last week's win and go from there."

Arthur denied he had planned on Moses' immediate inclusion following the Eels' win over the Tigers last week after the five-eighth requested a mid-season release.

The Tigers rejected the move at a board meeting with coach Ivan Cleary on Tuesday night.

Arthur is backing his roster until Moses arrives next season.

"I've made the mistake of that in the past, thinking about what might be. We can only worry about what is," Arthur said.

"I've left it with our management and their management. We're very happy with the team we've got that can get the job done."

Stand-in five-eighth Brad Takairangi will wear the No.6 jumper against the Panthers as the club waits on fullback Bevan French to recover from a knee injury.

Clint Gutherson will play at the back before reverting to the halves when French's return.

"You've got to try and prepare for these situations because of the way the salary cap is, you can't stockpile quality halves," Arthur said.

Arthur said Takairangi's versatility couldn't be underestimated.

"He's a five-eighth this week and if we get a few back on deck the following week there might be some changes," Arthur said.

The tenth-placed Eels take on a Panthers outfit staring down the barrel of four-straight defeats and looking a shadow of the side tipped as premiership favourites at the start of the season.

However Arthur is remains on high alert of for bounce-back effort from a side boosted by the return of second-rower Bryce Cartwright.

STATS THAT MATTER

* Penrith have lost four consecutive matches at ANZ Stadium, and have won just two of their past 12 at the Homebush venue.

* Penrith miss the most tackles (32.9) and offloads (12) per game this season.

* Parramatta have conceded a league-high nine tries down the centre of the park this season.

© AAP 2017

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