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Michael Jennings signs new Eels NRL deal

Just 18 months after being given the option to leave, Michael Jennings looks set to finish his NRL career at Parramatta after re-signing until the end of 2022.

Jennings agreed to a new two-year deal with the Eels on Friday, capping off a week in which he entered the list of top-10 try-scorers in rugby league history.

It signifies a remarkable turnaround for the 32-year-old.

The star centre was out of form and given permission to leave for Newcastle at the end of their poor 2018 season, as the Eels looked to free up cash to keep Jarryd Hayne.

Jennings was offered a long-term deal at the Knights, and had far more security there than anything Parramatta were willing to offer at the time.

But the former NSW State of Origin centre made the gutsy call to back his own ability, determined to prove his worth at the Eels.

“There was a more extended deal at a new club,” Jennings told AAP at the time.

“But ultimately, I just wanted to back my ability and I just had unfinished business here.

“I didn’t want to leave the club on a bad year. I wanted to leave something good behind.

“I wanted to see this team succeed from when I first came to Parramatta and I still believe that this team can be successful.”

Since then, Jennings has been among the Eels’ best – scoring 10 tries last year and seven in 11 games this season.

It means he will likely end his career with close to 350 NRL games to his name, having already chalked up 289 since his debut in 2007.

“I am very pleased to see Michael remain at the Eels,” Eels head of football Mark O’Neill said.

“He is a very popular member of our squad and is currently playing some of the best football of his career.

“Similarly, in an off-field capacity, Michael appears to be thriving with a great life balance and strong family support network.”

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