Dyldam Parramatta Eels hooker Nathan Peats is keen to make an appearance for the Blue and Gold at the 2015 Dick Smith Auckland Nines in what will be his first appearance on the field since Round 12.

Peats underwent surgery in June following an ACL injury, as well as a second surgical procedure on an existing shoulder injury. 

For Peats, it’s an opportunity to show Blue and Gold fans what he’s capable of playing without shoulder pain for the first time in more than 18 months. 

“It’s going to be good for the body,” Peats said. 

“Hopefully it might prolong my career a couple of years, too.”

“I was playing through the pain with the shoulder and before my knee went on me I was playing with it [at less than 100%] for a couple of weeks.”

“The knee’s at the halfway point now, and I’d like to be there for the nines. That’s the goal.”

“I should be on track, and by the time of the Nines both my injuries should be 100%.”

Peats has had some company on the road to recovery, with teammate Lee Mossop also undergoing surgery on a shoulder injury, and forward Mitch Allgood recovering from knee surgery.

“We’ve had a little crew there this year, even now [in off season] there’s a few of us,” Peats said.

“We call ourselves the “skinny-fat crew” because we’re obviously not doing a lot of running and I can’t do any weights so we’ve lost a bit of bulk and the bodies aren’t the best!”

And in an understated way, the ultra-competitive Peats says he can’t wait to shed his “skinny-fat” tag and get back to his fighting weight.

“I’m looking forward to pre-season!”