Sandow wants Stuart at Eels full-time
Date: August 01 2012
Chris Sandow would like to see Ricky Stuart shelve his NSW commitments as Parramatta aims to present a united front for the incoming coach.
Stuart will join the Eels on a three-year deal from 2013, lumped with the task of turning around one of the competition's most consistent underachievers of the past two decades.
But he has yet to make a formal decision on whether or not he will continue to devote part of his year to the State of Origin arena - or whether the NSWRL will even accommodate him holding down both roles at the same time.
Sandow knows it's not his decision to make, but in a perfect world the diminutive halfback would like to see Stuart focus all his energies on the blue and golds.
"I don't really mind what happens there but it would be good if Ricky just sticks to Parramatta," said Sandow, who scored twice in the Eels' 42-22 win over Brisbane on Monday.
Senior Eel Tim Mannah added: "He's the big boss. He can do whatever he wants. I don't blame everyone for fighting over him."
The Eels put in their best performance of the season in their major upset of the Broncos, their first match under caretaker coach Brad Arthur.
Sandow was among the best on the park, scoring two tries and setting up another before admitting he was "spewing" he hadn't been able to deliver his best form.
The 23-year-old says with the finals out of reach, the focus on the next five weeks will be to come together as a team with a view towards 2013.
"(Our goal is) just to come really close as one," Sandow said.
"There's a lot of young guys in the team and that's going to be a benefit for next year."
Mannah agreed that while 2012 had been an unmitigated failure, the club would use their final rounds to highlight the potential the club is hoping Stuart can unlock.
"In a way there's been a lot of pressure relieved. And that comes back to the fact we can't play finals footy," Mannah said.
"It's not really a good excuse but it's definitely showing in the way everyone is playing.
"We're all showing up for each other. It is a shame we haven't done it for most of the season.
"That's the disappointing thing. But the exciting thing is there's a lot of potential there.
"And looking forward there's a lot we can achieve."
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