Kiwi joins Eels
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.