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Parramatta and Newcastle will today turn their attention back to the 2006 season and this weekend's opening round clash between the two sides following confirmation yesterday of Brian Smith's impending move to the Knights.
Smith ended weeks of speculation by agreeing to a three-year deal with the Knights from 2007, completing a bizarre coaching swap with Knights counterpart Michael Hagan, who will join the Eels, also on a three-year deal, next season. Smith has admitted that the move could prove somewhat of a distraction this season as he helps Knights staff assemble their playing roster for 2007, but says he is committed to helping the Eels win a premiership this year.
Both coaches believe this week's coaching drama will not affect the players in the lead-up to Saturday night's clash at EnergyAustralia Stadium. The Knights will be seeking revenge on their home turf after being walloped by the Eels 50-0 in the corresponding match last season.