The Parramatta Eels Club has signed former South Sydney Rabbitohs hooker, Matt McIlwrick on a one year contract commencing this week and concluding at the end of the 2019 NRL season.
Matt has played 56 first grade games since his debut for the Raiders in 2012 with stints at the Roosters, Sharks, Tigers and most recently at the Rabbitohs.
While Reed Mahoney will continue to be the starting hooker, Matt will add depth to that role and complete our top 30 squad.
Born in New Zealand, Matt represented his homeland in the Under 16s team, and played for the Junior Kiwis in 2010 against the Junior Kangaroos.
It should come as little surprise that the Parramatta Eels would make a roster move to bolster their depth at hooker. Reed Mahoney continues to impress and undoubtedly has a bright future in the NRL while similar expectations are held for Kyle Schneider but the Eels simply needed to add depth one of the most crucial positions in the game. Schneider, as talented as he is, simply is not ready to undertake the physical burden of NRL footy and with Kaysa Pritchard stepping away from the game for personal reasons and Will Smith sidelined for two months with a fractured arm the cupboard is bare for Parramatta.
Matt McIlwrick might wear the tag of journeyman with the Eels notching his fifth separate club in the NRL but he has proven to be a competent backup in recent years. His best football arguably came in 2017 where he anchored the ruck for the Wests Tigers amidst a myriad of injuries to their dummy-half depth and the departure of Robbie Farah.
Mahoney will remain the preferred option for the Eels at dummy-half, and for good reason, but McIlwrick provides the Eels with either the option the spell ‘Cash’ from the bench with a proven option or provide the Wentworthville Magpies with some much needed quality and direction in the spine.