Dyldam Parramatta Eels hooker Nathan Peats is excited to be back out playing for the Blue and Gold after a long period on the sideline nursing injuries.

Peats featured in the starting side in the Eels season opener on Friday night against the Sea Eagles before being replaced by Isaac De Gois early in the second half. However the hooker is looking forward to staying fit and playing the full 80 minutes moving forward.

“It’s been a long off season. Now it’s all in the past and I’m looking forward to playing week in week out and looking after the body,” Peats said.

“That was always the plan just to play 50 minutes or so this week and obviously build to 80. Hopefully I will get 80 out this week and then that will be the goal every week after that,” Peats said.

“Brad’s just trying to look after me. I played busted for a while last year so I have got to look after the body a bit, ease into it and hopefully I get 80 out this week” Peats added.

The Eels will now face the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs on Friday night in their Round 2 clash at ANZ Stadium and Peats urges the Blue and Gold army to be in full force.

“There should be a good crowd at ANZ Stadium this week,” Peats said.

“The crowd was massive here on Friday night, it was very loud and that’s the standard here at Pirtek.”

“Hopefully the Members and the fans get out to Friday nights game because I think it’s going to be a big one.”

The Eels will maintain their focus after their Round 1 victory and look to prepare for the game against the Bulldogs who will be looking to bounce back after their Round One defeat.

“They are a good team,” Peats said of the Eels Round Two opponents.

“They got a big pack and that’s where the game I think is going to be won or lost.”

“So that’s all our focus is, and as a forward, it’s trying to maintain their big pack and go from there.”

“They’re coming off a five-day turn around and they played in the heat yesterday so hopefully we got the little upper advantage at the moment, but that’s NRL.”

“You’ve got to do it sometimes with the short turn around so it’s going to be a big couple of days at training then hopefully we can stick it to them on Friday.”

Head Coach Brad Arthur also commented on Peats’ effort in his first hit out back in the NRL on Triple M on Saturday.

“He’s very tough Peatsy, he just wants to win,” Arthur said.

“He’s an important part of our team, he just competes for every little thing, he just fights for everything.”

Fatherhood has had a positive impact on Peats, something that Arthur has noticed around training.

“That made him quiet down and put a bit of a smile on his face lately, because it’s pretty hard to do,” Arthur said of Peats.

Peats agreed.

“It’s been good and Im a bit tired…. it’s been hard work but enjoyable.”