LEEDS RHINOS are hoping to receive a Christmas Parcell.
Rhinos are understood to be close to completing the signing of Australian hooker Matt Parcell from NRL club Manly Sea Eagles.
The 24-year-old is set to take the place of Papua New Guinea star James Segeyaro, who has said he does not want to return to Leeds despite signing a new two-year contract in September.
Parcell starred for Ipswich Jets – coached by ex-Leeds stand-off Ben Walker – in the Queensland Cup before signing for Brisbane Broncos.
He made six appearances for Brisbane, under England coach Wayne Bennett, in 2015 and then signed a three-year deal with Manly.
He played 15 times for Sea Eagles this year – 11 as starting hooker – but is poised to be released from the remainder of his contract to join Rhinos.
Recruiting a highly-regarded young No 9 would be a coup for Rhinos following the loss of Segeyaro, whose arrival on loan from Penrith Panthers last season helped save them from relegation after a disastrous first half of the campaign.
Walker earlier this year described Parcell as a future State of Origin player.
He told The Australian newspaper: “His work ethic is outstanding.
“He’s very skilful and extremely quick. His passing game is now one of the best in the NRL.”