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The Pirtek Parramatta Eels will approach the 2013 Holden Cup season with plenty of optimism despite finishing last season near the bottom of the NYC competition. It's not an easy assignment first up though against the New Zealand Warriors, who have always been considered as one of the benchmark teams in the under-20s.

Coach Andrew Webster is confident many of the players in the squad will be all the better for the experience of playing last year and is hoping for a sharp improvement from his side especially in defence this season.

John Folau, the younger brother of former international Israel, will definitely be a player to watch and has shown flashes of brilliance in the pre-season trials games, most notably against Penrith when he crossed for a pair of blockbusting tries.

Isaiah Mosese and Fred Junior Mauala will make their debuts in NYC, with Tepai Moeroa to get his first taste off the bench. Daniel Alvaro is also making his club debut at the Eels after being brought over from the Broncos.

The Warriors squad is all backing up from last year and the side is big, strong and offloads well, meaning the side will be a good test for the Eels kicking off the 2013 season.

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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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