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Eels stars shine at World Cup

The Rugby League World Cup wrapped up over the weekend with Australia completing the double in both the Men’s and Women’s Finals.

Four Eels featured in the tournament Finals, with Reagan Campbell-Gillard, Simaima Taufa and Kennedy Cherrington all tasting world glory while Junior Paulo ran out as captain of Samoa.

A total of ten Eels NRL and NRLW top squad members from 2022 made the trip to England, with plenty of impressive displays to show for it.


Reagan Campbell-Gillard (Australia)

  • Appearances: 4
  • Average Run Metres: 95
  • Post-Contact Metres: 148
  • Average Tackles: 14

Campbell-Gillard collected his second World Cup winner’s medal as a key member of the triumphant Kangaroos side. Despite injury disruptions and a delayed start, the prop managed to make four appearances en route to winning the tournament. His strongest performance came in the Final, as he led the Kangaroos forward pack with 147 run metres.

Junior Paulo (Samoa)

Paulo leads immense Siva Tau

  • Appearances: 6
  • Offloads: 14
  • Average Tackles: 26
  • Average Run Metres: 127

Paulo was at the heart of Samoa’s fairytale adventure to the World Cup Final. The influential captain led his nation to battle in all six of their matches, as they reached the tournament decider for the first time in history. His leadership was inspirational in a series of powerful Siva Tau renditions.

Dylan Brown (New Zealand)

Dylan Brown's big stage moment

  • Appearances: 4
  • Tries: 2
  • Try Assists: 3
  • Average Run Metres: 139

Brown reached new heights at Test level this World Cup, guiding the Kiwis to within two points of reaching the Final. The five-eighth showed great composure on the big stage, particularly in his standout Semi Final performance where he scored a try and made 178 run metres.

Mitchell Moses (Lebanon)

  • Appearances: 4
  • Goals: 15/17
  • Try Assists: 4
  • Line Break Assists: 5

Tasked by Michael Cheika with captaining the Lebanon side, Moses enjoyed a terrific campaign. The halfback was masterful in a crucial win over Ireland, setting up several tries and scoring 12 points. He led Lebanon all the way to the Quarter Finals and automatic qualification for the 2025 World Cup.

Maika Sivo (Fiji)

Sivo ignites Hull crowd

  • Appearances: 4
  • Tries: 4
  • Average Run Metres: 99
  • Tackle Breaks: 20

The Eels fan favourite was influential in Fiji’s World Cup run, as the Bati came within a whisker of a Semi Final berth. Sivo scored four times in four games, including a memorable try against the Kiwis in which he bulldozed Kiwis fullback Joseph Manu.

Will Penisini (Tonga)

  • Appearances: 3
  • Tries: 5
  • Average Run Metres: 125
  • Tackle Breaks: 7

On the back of his mid-season Test debut, Penisini was a regular fixture in Tonga’s star-studded backline. The highlight of his campaign came in Tonga’s resounding group stage win over the Cook Islands, as he scored four tries in the right centre position.

Nathan Brown (Italy)

  • Appearances: 3
  • Average Run Metres: 121
  • Average Post-Contact Metres: 37
  • Average Tackles: 33

Italy’s captain and sole NRL player, Nathan Brown led from the front on the world stage. The Eels enforcer was named man of the match in the Azzurri’s first-up win over Wales, registering 200 run metres and 35 tackles.

Makahesi Makatoa (Cook Islands)

  • Appearances: 3
  • Average Run Metres: 119
  • Average Post-Contact Metres: 41
  • Average Tackles: 33

In a side short of NRL experience, Makatoa stood tall. The Eels forward was immense in the Cook Islands’ tournament-opening win over Wales, clocking 167 run metres and 32 tackles. While his nation failed to progress beyond the pool stage, Makatoa was a shining light.


Kennedy Cherrington (Australia)

Cherrington scores two in the World Cup Final

  • Appearances: 4
  • Average Run Metres: 109
  • Average Tackles: 15
  • Tackle Breaks: 8

Cherrington made her Test debut at the World Cup as Jillaroo #167 and went on to enjoy a terrific campaign. A strong presence both on and off the field, she capped off a wonderful World Cup with two tries at Old Trafford as the Jillaroos downed New Zealand in the Final.

Simaima Taufa (Australia)

  • Appearances: 3
  • Average Run Metres: 170
  • Average Tackles: 37
  • Tackle Breaks: 6

The Eels’ ever-reliable co-captain, Taufa did not miss a beat in her three appearances at the World Cup. Her fantastic performances were rewarded with a World Cup winner’s medal, the second of her career.

Acknowledgement of Country

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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