By STEVE MASCORD
PARRAMATTA’s deal with England forward Gareth Hock is in jeopardy – but the Eels say he’ll be forced into retirement if he doesn’t show up next year.
Hock is believed to have received an offer from Dr Marwan Koukash (see update below), the owner of Salford City Reds who has openly vowed to break the salary cap in his pursuit of assembling a champion team.
That’s despite the 29-year-old having already agreed to terms with the Eels. But according to Parramatta football manager Peter Nolan, Wigan – who hold Hock’s contact – will not let him join the Reds.
“Look, Gareth has some personal issues,” Nolan tells RLW. “All of us have personal problems from time to time which deserve some privacy.
“But I have spoken to him and he is 100 per cent determined to overcome them and join us next year. He says he is still coming.
“Wigan’s Ian Lenagan is a straight-up sort of guy and he has said that if Gareth doesn’t play for us next year, then he retires.
“There is an offer from another club but they don’t really understand the contractual situation.”
Hock is currently on loan from Wigan to Widnes but is banned from playing against the cherry-and-whites as part of the strict conditions of his loan arrangements.
Parramatta’s other English signing for next year, Wigan’s Lee Mossop, recently had shoulder surgery. In February he was ruled out for three months after suffering the injury playing for Wigan against London.
“We’re still confident of both of them joining us next year,” said Nolan
NB: Since this story appeared, Salford have written to Parramatta undertaking to make no attempt to sign Gareth Hock
Filed for: RUGBY LEAGUE WEEK