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Dyldam Parramatta Eels forward Rory O’Brien says that despite the first eight weeks of pre-season being tough, the prop has benefited from the tough slog.

The 26 year old forward, who joined the Blue and Gold after making his NRL debut with the St George Illawarra Dragons last year, has enjoyed his time thus far at the club.

“My time here so far has been good. The boys have really welcomed me in and I feel like I have been training pretty well and I am really enjoying it here,” O’Brien said.

“The first eight weeks were very tough. It took a lot out of me but I lost a lot of weight and I feel a lot better doing all the training so it has been good,” he added.

Making the move from the Dragons, playing just three games in their first grade squad last season, O’Brien says the opportunity presented at the Eels was too hard to pass up.

“It was just a good opportunity here and Brad Arthur told me that there would be the opportunity for me to play First Grade so I just thought to myself that I would take that chance,” O’Brien said.

“Brad dedicates everything to the boys and I have really enjoyed training under him and learning a lot.”

With O’Brien looking to make the most of his move in 2016, the prop is focused on doing what he can during the remainder of the pre-season, hoping to be given an opportunity at some stage throughout the year.

“I just have to focus and try to keep improving on the field and hopefully I can get picked up, and if I do, hopefully I can cement my spot,” O’Brien said.

“I am just trying to improve more on my fitness and drop more weight. I have been doing that so far so I just want to keep doing that and hopefully I can get a spot in the trials and maybe Round One.”

“A lot of the other forwards here have played Origin and they have a lot to offer so I am just going to sit back and listen to what they have to say and just try and follow in their footsteps.”

The Eels pre-season schedule is confirmed, with the Blue and Gold taking part in the 2016 NRL Dick Smith Auckland Nines, pre-season trials against the Gold Coast Titans and Penrith Panthers and a Blue and Gold Army Festival.

All the details of the Eels pre-season schedule here.

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