Parramatta Eels left to pick up the pieces after just one season.
Former Australia coach Ricky Stuart has left struggling Parramatta to take charge of National Rugby League rivals Canberra Raiders.
Parramatta, who finished at the bottom of this season’s standings, said Stuart, 46, had departed with two seasons remaining on his contract to link up with Canberra.
The Raiders simultaneously announced that Stuart would take up a three-year deal to coach their team.
Former Test halfback Stuart played more than 200 top-grade games for the Raiders from 1988 to 1998 and later coached Australia 11 times, including at the 2008 World Cup.
The Eels have been plagued with boardroom dramas this season and the former Australia and New South Wales coach had a get-out clause in his contract when he accepted the role at the start of this season, reports said.
“The period I have been at the Parramatta Eels has been extremely challenging,” Stuart said in a statement.
“I sincerely hope the stability the club is entitled to will return and reward those people who have a genuine commitment and passion for the Eels.”
Canberra have also had off-field problems this season and sacked their coach David Furner last month after a run of poor results, with the club missing out on the playoff finals.
Parramatta said a search for a new coach was under way.