English import not impressing at
the Eels

Chris Thorman signed with the Parramatta Eels in the hope of emulating the impact of many English players before him. Kevin Ward with Manly, Ellery Hanley with Balmain and currently Adrian Morley with the Roosters have made their names known in the game here in Australia, and the 23 year old goalkicking five-eighth/halfback from the London Broncos looks set to join them.

However at the Parramatta jersey launch Tuesday Night, assistant coach Jason Taylor openly criticised his new import.

?Chris (Thorman) has been very disappointing, he is not what the club expected at all when we signed him from London,? Taylor said, leaving many of the Eels supporters on hand gob smacked. ?However, this is largely due to the fact Chris is still stuck in the UK waiting for a Visa.? Taylor who was MC for the night was not finished with his comedy routine.

While interviewing new signings Chris Muckert and Shane Muspratt, both coming from the Cowboys, Taylor asked how the pair was settling into Sydney life.

Muckert and Muspratt said they were doing well, the fact Eels winger Matthew Petersen had a stint with North Queensland meant they knew someone straight away making the transition easier. At that point, Taylor broke into a smile.

?Well I?ll be...? Taylor began, ?and all this time Sideshow (Petersen) was telling us he had friends up in North Queensland and we never believed him.?

Pictures of the new jersey can be found at www.parraeels.com.au. News & Notes: Approximately 500 people attended the Jersey Launch at the Leagues Club ... After one hour already 150 jerseys had been sold ... On the injury front: Muspratt has a hand injury, Wests Tigers signing Corey Pearson is recovering from a calf injury while star forward Nathan Hindmarsh?s wrist remains in a cast after surgery that ended his Kangaroo Tour chances ... Earlier in the week coach Brian Smith announced he would not apply for the Country Origin post in 2004, ironically the NRL gave the Eels a bye that very week ... And finally our spies report Jamie Lyon is looking fitter and bigger than ever suggesting we can expect even bigger things from the NSW Origin centre in 2004.