Kiwi joins Eels

Nelson Mail - - SPORT -

For young league play­ers, the dream is to sign on the dot­ted line with an NRL fran­chise. Taranaki’s Ja­cob Ra­tu­maitavuk­iKneep­kens has done just that, sign­ing on with the Par­ra­matta Eels. The 15-year-old Fran­cis Dou­glas Me­mo­rial Col­lege stu­dent has taken up an academy of­fer that would see him travel to Aus­tralia for camps twice this year, be­fore spend­ing six months of 2018 across the ditch for the un­der-18s com­pe­ti­tion. ‘‘It’s pretty over­whelm­ing. At the start it def­i­nitely was be­cause I’ve liked the Eels since Jar­ryd Hayne was play­ing for them [Hayne left the club in 2014]. It’s just sur­real,’’ Ra­tu­maitavuki-Kneep­kens said.

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