NRL: ‘I got emotional’: Eels coach shares teary embrace with debutant son
16 May, 2021, 5:18 pm
Once the cameras stopped rolling out the front of the Sofitel Hotel in Brisbane, Parramatta coach Brad Arthur let out a giant sigh of relief and said: “Beauty, I kept it together”.
Arthur had hours earlier shed a tear when he hugged his 18-year-old son ahead of his NRL debut against the New Zealand Warriors on Sunday.
The Eels coach is known for looking cranky after every game, regardless of the result, but the pride and satisfaction was impossible to miss on his face as he spoke about his eldest child.
The only fan club that will rival the Arthur clan at Suncorp Stadium, which will include mother Michelle and his younger siblings Matthew and Charlotte, would have been fellow 18-year-old Sam Walker’s entourage at the Sydney Roosters game on Saturday night.
Talking about the emotional scenes at Norths Devils training ground on Saturday before the captain’s run, Arthur said of Jakob: “I always like the players to do the jersey presentations, but they demanded I do [this one].
“We always talk about milestones, and that’s part of my job. I spoke about his milestone, which is his debut, and it was good that I was comfortable enough in this group, and given how tight we are, that I got emotional, and the boys really appreciated it.
“I gave him a cuddle and told him I was proud of him.
“They then took control of the captain’s run and Mitchell Moses presented him his jersey.”
Arthur junior, who has been an Eels ballboys and even helped out as a statistician during his father’s seven seasons at the helm, will start at five-eighth for the suspended Dylan Brown. Because he played in the NSW Cup last weekend, Covid protocols prevented him from training with the NRL squad until Saturday.