Radradra set for quick Eels exit
Parramatta flyer Semi Radradra says he will be on the next plane out of Sydney the day after the Eels' final game of the year – even if that game is the grand final – and will be forced to skip end-of-season celebrations to immediately start his new deal in French Rugby.
The 25-year-old signed a two-year deal with Toulon in January and while he has hinted a return to the NRL is on the cards in the future, he wants to honour his short-term commitment to rugby union.
Radradra was adamant that even if the Eels featured in the 2017 NRL grand final in three weeks' time, he couldn't afford to stick around with the competition in France having begun a fortnight ago.
"I head off straight after our last game I'm just going to go the next day," Radradra said.
"No Mad Monday, I'm just going to go straight out."
When asked about the prospect of the Eels going on to win the grand final, the former Australian Test star declared his plan would not change.
"Still fly out, the same thing," Radradra said.
"Their games started two weeks ago. I'm just going to go straight in and play. There's no rest or anything.
"The season there has started and I have signed for two years. I have to honour my contract."
Radradra is set to compete in the new code up until May next year – with no break in-between – and said he was up for the challenge.
"I was born ready. Just 15 months of footy," he laughed.
"It's going to be tough [but] I know my body. You just do small things like stretch exercises to keep your body right and try and eat healthy."
Radradra insists he has the support of his teammates on his stance of a quick departure, but they're motivating him to go out a winner.
Not that the Fijian native requires any motivation.
After a quiet start to the 2017 season riddled with off-field controversy, the quietly-spoken winger has found form at the right time of the year with an astonishing nine tries in his last four games.
Eels coach Brad Arthur credited Radradra's teammates earlier in the season for sticking by him during the tough period, and now the Vatukoula junior is desperate to repay them.
"I know it could be my last game," Radradra said.
"I've been feeling emotional about it inside that I'm going to leave the club and the boys.
"I want to play good footy for them and that's what I've been trying to do at the moment.
"I feel it pushing me from the boys. You have to find something to motivate you to play good footy. It's been driving me a lot and helping me a lot with the boys."
After marrying partner Vika during the season with Arthur's blessing, Radradra joked there was room for another ring with the Eels now two wins away from a shot at the premiership.
"I'd like to get another ring," he said.
"[Marriage] keeps you busy but it's pretty good. I'm settled now and I'm pretty happy."