Eels want Kidwell to firm up soft underbelly
THE desperate Parramatta Eels have called in reinforcements as they make a major change to their coaching staff by securing former Kiwis coach David Kidwell.
Kidwell has joined the club until the end of the season — with a focus on fixing Parramatta’s soft underbelly.
He will be the club’s defensive coach, after they opted to replace Peter Gentle who joined South Sydney at the end of last season.
Kidwell is expected to make his first official appearance at the Eels game against Manly today, joining Brad Arthur’s coaching staff alongside fellow assistants Steve Murphy and Joey Grima.
Kidwell made 33 appearances for the Eels in 1999 and 2000 in a decorated playing career which also included stints at Adelaide, the Roosters, Melbourne and South Sydney. It is Kidwell’s first appointment since stepping down as Kiwis coach following their ill-fated World Cup campaign last year.
He was in the shortlist to take over from Rick Stone as Hud- dersfield’s coach before withdrawing to take the position with the Eels. That job is expected to go to former Canberra and Dragons hooker Simon Woolford.
The Eels have conceded an average of 25 points per game — the third most in the competition — before round seven. Before taking on the Kiwis head coaching role in 2016, Kidwell worked at the Wests Tigers, Storm and Souths.