Dyldam Parramatta Eels forward Tepai Moeroa is looking forward to the physical challenge up front this Friday night when the Eels clash with the Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium for the annual Bandaged Bear Cup.
The 19 year old back rower, who attended the Children’s Hospital at Westmead yesterday to promote the game, was overwhelmed with being able to have an impact in the children’s lives.
“It’s always good coming to visit the kids here and put a smile on their faces,” Moeroa said.
“They are going through some pretty tough and serious issues so being able to make their day a bit brighter is a good feeling.”
At such a young age, Moeroa was taken back by the thought of being a role model, however he was especially proud to be viewed this way.
“I have never really thought about that (the responsibility of being a role model at such a young age) but it’s a pleasure to be looked at that way by kids. Not just the kids here, but kids all around, especially young Polynesian kids knowing that there is a future for them in anything they pursue”
Whilst the visit to the Children’s Hospital at Westmead was a moment for Moeroa to show his softer side, the forward is focused on having a physical presence and big impact on Friday night.
“We have been preparing all pre-season for this week to week grind, so hopefully we can show all the work in the preseason has paid off this week,” Moeroa said.
“One of the biggest things we worked on was our aggression and our physical appearance on the field.”
Whilst Moeroa, who has been likened to Eels legend Nathan Hindmarsh, will be looking for a big physical performance, the back rower was excited about potentially playing alongside Danny Wicks.
“I hope Danny Wicks makes his debut for the club.”
“It will be a great pleasure to play with him because he has been around for a while and he has a lot of muscle and aggression so it will be good to release him on the field.”
The muscle and aggression Wicks brings to the side will be a handy inclusion to match it with the Bulldogs forward pack.
“They have a strong and powerful forward pack so we have to muscle up again and hopefully we can back it up from last weeks performance and go from there.”
“It will be good to have somebody like Wickys out there.”
“He is unbelievable strong and their forward pack plays that dominant game so it will be good to have him out there”