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Pirtek Parramatta Eels co-captain Jarryd Hayne says he understands the fans' reaction to the announcement of Ricky Stuart leaving the club, but admits it's a relief to have it out in the open.

Hayne says he had a feeling it was coming for the last two weeks.

"Personally it wasn't really a surprise, I've felt the last two weeks something wasn't right with Rick, and he's an emotional person and you can tell by his body language," he said.

"You always know something was up, so it's been a bit hard to focus on footy."

With the decision finalised and public, Hayne says it's a weight off for the players.

"It was dragging through the media for a couple of weeks so for it to finally be done and dusted we can now move forward and figure out the next step," he said.

"But I'm not even thinking about next season to be quite honest. I think with the season that we've had, for me, I'm got the World Cup to think about and I'm focussing on that."

Hayne says he understands Ricky's decision, but can understand why fans are disappointed.

"It's just one of those things - I think Ricky had an opportunity down there and he took it," he said.

"I think there's obviously a lot of people out there disappointed and I can understand the fans [are upset], and Ricky knows that and they have every right to be."

Click here to see what Tim Mannah had to say about Ricky Stuart's departure.
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Parramatta Eels respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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