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Eels sign Gordon from Sharks for 2016

Parramatta have announced the signing of Michael Gordon on a one-year deal from the beginning of the 2016 season.

The 31-year-old had previously agreed to a mid-season switch to the Eels but was dramatically denied by Sharks officials at the last minute.

Gordon will see out the remainder of this year in the Shire before moving to Parramatta at the end of the season.

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Eels coach Brad Arthur said Gordon’s experience would be vital for his young squad.

“Michael is an experienced player and a quality fullback who will bring talent and expertise to our back line, and he deserves the opportunity to be playing in an NRL side,” Arthur said in a statement.

“Not only is he talented on the field, but his leadership will be valuable for the emerging young players in our squad.”

Arthur recently said Gordon had been “struggling” with the contract wrangle that blocked a move to the Eels last month and led to the former NSW representative reportedly walking away from the club.

But the ex-Panther has since returned to training and featured in Cronulla’s past three games.

Gordon will act as a one-season rental and mentor for upcoming under-20s talent Bevan French, while the move also allows Cronulla to hand the fullback role to young gun Valentine Holmes.

Gordon has played 165 games with Penrith and Cronulla since making his first grade debut in 2006.

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