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3 days ago - 6 Likes
Parramatta halfback Tim Smith is expected to be stood down from Friday's NRL clash with Manly after failing to turn up to training this morning.
The Eels have called a media conference for 2pm today where Eels chief executive Denis Fitzgerald will front alongside Smith and his manager David Riolo.
Smith has a long history of misdemeanours at the NRL club involving alcohol and spent part of the preseason in a rehabilitation clinic on the Gold Coast.
He has also suffered from depression and arrived at the club around 11am today with his manager, two hours after the scheduled morning session.
Eels coach Michael Hagan was due to speak to the media following the session but cancelled at the last minute after noting Smith's absence.
Smith has played just three NRL games this year in his comeback from shoulder surgery and has copped the brunt of the criticism for the Eels successive losses.
But his teammates have stood behind him, with halves partner Brett Finch sympathising with the 23-year-old over the ongoing criticism.
"The continual criticism, I've had it myself in my career and it certainly gets you down and you get sick of hearing it," said Finch prior to training today.
"I thought (Smith) played pretty well on the weekend. I thought his kicking game was strong.
"I feel sorry for him because I know what he is going through, you certainly don't like to see your teammates cop that criticism all the time."