Jamie lyon thread 4827


Eels undecided on Lyon
April 7, 2006

PARRAMATTA officials remain undecided whether they will make a formal approach to bring former Eel Jamie Lyon back to the club in 2007.

Lyon, in the last year of his deal with English club St Helens, is believed to be eyeing a return to the NRL next season with Parramatta, the club he walked out on in 2004, one of his possible destinations.

"He enquired about coming back but whether the club would be interested in him coming back, at this stage there's been no decision one way or the other," Eels football manager Tony Zappia said today.

"I think Jamie's just deciding whether he wants to come back, I believe he's talking to St Helens at the moment as well.

"I don't think he's really made up his mind.

"If he wanted to come back the club would look at if there was an opportunity for him to come back."

One major hurdle for the Eels is the club's vast array of talent at the two positions Lyon could possible fill.

Young gun Ben Smith has developed into one of the NRL's most exciting centre prospects, while Timana Tahu has taken his game to another level since joining the Eels and moving from the wing to the centres.

Lyon has also spent significant time at five-eighth for St Helens, but the Eels already have John Morris entrenched in the No.6 jumper.

Lyon walked out on Parramatta in early 2004 citing burnout and difficulty in adjusting to the Sydney lifestyle, returning to his hometown to play for NSW country side Wee Waa before moving on to England.

It was thought the former Test centre would link with Manly on his return to the NRL due to his close links with Sea Eagles recruitment officer Noel Cleal, but both Lyon and the Eels have shown some interest in rekindling their relationship.

Still contracted to the Eels until the end of this season, Lyon is not allowed to negotiate with other NRL clubs until the anti-tampering deadline expires on June 30.

If he did decide to test his value on the open market, Lyon, winner of the prestigious Man of Steel Award as the best player in Britain last season, would certainly become hot property.

Several NRL clubs, including the Sea Eagles and Cronulla, have already stated their desire to talk to the dazzling three-quarter should he become available.

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