Dyldam Parramatta Eels hooker Nathan Peats has been named in the starting side for the NSW City Origin team in their upcoming clash against the Country Origin side in Wagga this Sunday and the Blue and Gold forward is looking forward to returning to the representative arena.
“I am looking forward to it,” Peats said of the week long camp ahead.
“I played in 2013 for City, that was a great week there and I am now looking forward to getting out there on Sunday and trying to have a good game.”
After being unable for selection last year due to injury, Peats is looking forward to the week ahead, grateful for another opportunity to play for City.
“It was a good learning experience back then and I’m a bit more experienced now so I’m looking forward to having a second crack at it and hopefully get a good performance on the weekend,” he said.
Having already played under NSW City Head Coach Brad Fittler, Peats is excited about playing under his favourite childhood player for a second time.
“He’s a great bloke and we have a good laugh,” Peats said of Fittler.
“Growing up he was my favourite player because I was a bit of a Roosters fan.”
“Freddy’s like one of the boys, he has a laugh, so it’s a good week….I got the privilege to play under him a couple of years ago and I am looking forward to it again.”
Fittler spoke highly of Peats, confident that the Eels hooker would be the man to fill incumbent hooker Robbie Farrah’s shoes when he departs.
“Disappointingly last year, Peats was injured coming into this game and he spent a lot of time last year on the bench but he seems to have that real Origin attitude they talk about,” Fittler said.
“Hopefully he can get us off the line, he seems to do that really well for Parramatta. You notice when he is not there at Parramatta, they really struggle so he will be important for our game on Sunday” Fitter added.
Spending the back half of the 2014 season on the sideline with injury, Peats said he is slowly regaining his form this year and is getting closer to where he wants to be as a player.
“It’s not quite where I want to be at the moment,” the hooker said of his form.
“But it’s only Round 8 we just played, so I’m starting to get my fitness back which is good and hopefully I can turn out some more better 80 minutes performances with the team as well.”
“Consistency is probably the hardest thing in First Grade and we’ve [Parramatta] been a bit inconsistent as a team. Hopefully we can start to gel and get it together.”
Having missed out on selection for State of Origin last season, Peats said that while representative football is great, his current focus is playing well for the Parramatta Eels.
“It’s always a goal for every player to play representative footy,” he said.
“But to be honest I’m not really thinking about that. I’m very privileged to play in the City side this week and that’s the first step and then obviously back to Parramatta next week.”
“There’s a lot of players in front of me in the position I play so I am just hoping I can put my hand up and do as good as I can this week.”
Peats will play alongside some former teammates this week and the hooker is excited about the opportunity to play with some new and old teammates.
“I played with Wade Graham and Fifita Andrew last time in this City camp and Clarky’s one of my good mates who I played at Souths with for years,” Peats said.
“It’s always good to play in a side where you’re playing with a different calibre of players and I’m looking forward to it.”