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Dyldam Parramatta Eels Head Coach Brad Arthur says his players aren’t letting other distractions get in their way of preparing for tomorrow night’s clash with the Wests Tigers. 

Describing the game as “crucial”, Arthur says the side is ready to get a third consecutive win. 

“We’ve been in every one of our last eight games; we’ve had some close losses and in the last few weeks, some really tough wins,” Arthur said. 

“So with those results come a bit of confidence, but it’s not a matter of just going through the motions, we’ve got to turn up as the Tigers are going to be very desperate as well.”

The line-up will be slightly reshuffled, with Manu Ma’u returning from suspension, Bureta Faraimo stepping in for Will Hopoate playing State of Origin, and Isaac De Gois to undergo a fitness test today. 

“We’re one of the clubs that aren’t affected by Origin too much, the only thing affecting us at the moment is a few injuries, but every club has that at this time of year,” he said. 

“Losing players though suspension is not great, but it’s probably a rest that [Manu] deserved, and he’s feeling a little fresher and is ready to go.”

Arthur says the Tigers will come out firing, even with Aaron Woods and Robbie Farah playing with the NSW Blues.  

“They’ve got other blokes who will step up - they put 30 points on Souths a few weeks ago without their Origin players and Martin Taupau really stepped up and I’m sure he’ll look to lead from the front for them tomorrow night,” he said. 

“Our style of football, we like to move the footy around a little bit, and last time we played the Tigers we got caught up in trying to go with a grinding game set for set, and while we need to complete, it’s important that we play a bit of football.”

Arthur also address this week’s news of Kieran Foran confirming his commitment to the Eels from next season. 

“The boys are only focussed on 2015, [Kieran] is great for our club but our priority right now is the rest of this season,” he said. 

“Myself and the group, we’ve been focussing on 2015 and we’ll worry about what Kieran can bring next year.”

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Parramatta Eels respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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