Rivalries left behind as Jennings drawn to Eels
New Eels recruit Michael Jennings said his fierce junior rivalries against Parramatta and new teammate Tim Mannah are now in the past, adding he was drawn back out west to join an Eels club on the rise.
Jennings was granted a release from the final year of his contract at the Roosters, the club where he won a premiership in 2013, to sign a four-year deal with Parramatta.
The Blues centre and former Penrith star jumped straight into training once the deal was finalised and said old foe and former NSW Origin prop Mannah had been integral in helping him feel welcome in his new surroundings.
"During the SG Ball and Harold Matts, that was a quality rivalry that we had and when you're young, it was unbelievable," Jennings said.
"They got one on us and we got one on them in the SG Ball Grand Final so it's pretty intense looking back at it now!
"The boys are really welcoming me in and Timmy's helping me out a lot showing me around and introducing me to everyone, so it's been good so far."
Asked what drew him to Parramatta, Jennings told parraeels.com.au he saw the Eels as a club on the rise. With Jennings the latest star recruit in addition to premiership-winning former Manly five-eighth Kieran Foran and Jennings' fellow NSW Origin representatives Beau Scott and Michael Gordon, it isn't just Jennings tipping an improved season from the Eels in 2016.
"It was always going to be a hard decision, leaving your teammates and coming to a new environment. But seeing this club that's on the rise, there are some good signs and that's what got me over the line."