One of the worst kept secrets in rugby league has been confirmed – Reagan Campbell-Gillard has been released from his long-term deal with Penrith.
The 26-year-old will join Parramatta next season after struggling to find form at the Panthers this year.
Campbell-Gillard was a member of the premiership-winning Panthers NYC side in 2013 and made his NRL debut in 2015.
Campbell-Gillard played 114 NRL games in his time at the club, while also making his Origin debut for NSW and his international debut for Australia.
“Earlier this year Parramatta approached our club to express an interest in acquiring Reagan’s services,” Panthers General Manager Rugby League Matt Cameron said.
“After lengthy discussions between Panthers, Reagan’s management and Reagan himself, a mutually agreed position was reached.”
Cameron said it was not an easy decision to allow the local junior to join the Eels, who play Brisbane in a sudden death Finals match tomorrow.
“The decision to grant this release was not taken lightly. Management of the club’s salary cap is a detailed and complex exercise that at times requires difficult decisions to be made to ensure sustainability,” he said.
“While it is always disappointing to see local juniors leave Panthers, this outcome provides our club with crucial salary cap flexibility not only next year but also in future years.
“As a club we thank Reagan for his service and wish him the best of luck moving forward.”
Parramatta Eels General Manager of Football Mark O’Neill said he was looking forward to welcoming Campbell-Gillard to Parramatta when he joins the squad in November during the pre-season.
“We’re continuing to build our roster and the addition of Reagan, a representative forward, is a great fit for our team,” he said.
Troy Dodds is the Weekender’s Managing Editor and Senior Writer. He has more than 15 years experience as a journalist, working with some of Australia’s leading media organisations.