Dyldam Parramatta Eels forward David Gower suffered an ankle injury in the Eels v Storm Round 9 clash, causing the hard-working forward to head to the showers early after being unable to return to the action in the second half.
However, a disappointed Gower said he would be working hard off the field in an attempt to be get back onto the paddock as soon as possible.
“I just have a low grade high ankle sprain,” Gower said of the injury.
“It’s going to be a week to week proposition and unfortunately it’s not going to be quite right this week.”
“I am going to do everything I can with the medical staff and physios here to try and get it right and get back on the field to try and get out there and help the boys.”
Replacing Gower this week is Tepai Moeroa, after Brad Arthur named the 19 year old in the starting line-up to take on the Warriors on Saturday 16 May.
“We have a great squad, good depth here and the boys that are stepping in here this week in Tepai and Pauli having been playing great footy back at Wenty and they are eager for an opportunity,” Gower said of the call up.
“They are going to know their job that Brad is going to give them and they won’t let anybody down.”
Moeroa has received plenty of early accolades and praise, however Gower said the talented forward has been working hard on his game to ensure he is ready to stand up to the rigours of First Grade in the NRL.
“It is hard, when you get big accolades early on, its hard for a young guy. Brad had a good chat with him early on to send him back to Wenty to get his body right first, and secondly, he just had a minor things in his game that he needed to improve that he can probably get away with at Under 20’s or reserve grade level but not in the NRL,” Gower said of Moeroa.
“Tepai has gone back and worked hard on his fitness and a couple of the little aspects of his game that he needed to work on and now he gets another opportunity in First Grade and I am sure he will be great for us.”
And what has Moeroa worked on during his stint in the NSW Cup?
“I think Tepai is an aggressive ball runner and defensively he has worked on the things Brad has asked him to,” Gower said.
“He is fitter and bit keener now that he knows it’s not a guarantee to be in the NRL week to week.”
With Brad Arthur making several changes to his squad, Gower said that the entire squad were on notice that they needed to perform to retain their First Grade spot.
“You have to perform, and everyone is accountable, and I think Brad has made that pretty clear this week,” Gower said.
“If you aren’t performing, you will be accountable to him and the team.”
One of the biggest changes to the team line up this week is the relegation of Chris Sandow back to the NSW Cup, with Brad Arthur naming Luke Kelly in the halfback position to take on the Warriors.
“Chris has a couple of aspects of his game that Brad has asked him to work back at Wenty,” Gower said.
“Luke Kelly has been playing well back there and he gets the opportunity this week to steer us around” he added.
“Luke Kelly has been outstanding this year in the NSW Cup team and has been a stand out in all the training sessions in that against us so he deserves his chance,” Assistant Coach Pete Gentle said of Kelly’s recall to First Grade.