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Formed in 1947, the Parramatta Eels struggled enormously in the early history, claiming 11 wooden spoons in their first 26 seasons. Fortunately, the club is best known for a dynasty in the 1980s that saw them claim four premierships in six seasons – although success has largely eluded them since.
After storming to a fifth-place finish the previous season, but getting crushed in a semi-final, Parramatta were a difficult team to get a read on coming into 2020. Some experts had them as a sneaky premiership contender, while others saw it all blowing up given the club’s tendency to yo-yo wildly between different ends of the ladder.
The Eels shot out of the blocks with five straight wins to top the ladder early, but started to wobble at the halfway mark of the season. They had to fight tooth and nail to knock off the lesser sides and, despite finishing top four, didn’t enter the finals series with much optimism – ultimately getting bundled out in straight sets.
Senior coach: Brad Arthur
Captain: Clint Gutherson
2020 finish: 5th (3rd before finals)
Premierships: 1981, 1982, 1983, 1986
Clint Gutherson (c), Daniel Alvaro, Waqa Blake, Dylan Brown, Nathan Brown, Reagan Campbell-Gillard, Andrew Davey, Rhys Davies, Haze Dunster, Kane Evans, Blake Ferguson, David Gower, George Jennings, Michael Jennings, Oregon Kaufusi, Shaun Lane, Reed Mahoney, Ryan Matterson, Mitchell Moses, Marata Niukore, Ethan Parry, Junior Paulo, Jaeman Salmon, Maika Sivo, Will Smith, Ray Stone, Brad Takairangi, Peni Terepo, Stefano Utoikamanu