Dyldam Parramatta Eels prop Danny Wicks is readying for the challenge of the in-form Canberra Raiders when the two sides meet at Pirtek Stadium on Saturday. 

The Raiders welcomed back their halves combination of Aidan Sezer and Blake Austin with immediate effect against the Bulldogs in Round 5, and Wicks says the Canberra side is strong across the park in 2016. 

“Good side, aren’t they?” Wicks said.

“They’re a big pack, fast backs, great halves; it’ll be a really good competition.”

The Blue and Gold were rolled on the buzzer in their Round 5 clash against the Penrith Panthers, conceding the match-winning try in the final seconds of play. 

“It does hurt,” Wicks said.

“It’s a play that probably, nine out of ten times, doesn’t come off. Needless to say we should’v been there and we should’ve stopped it.”

“We’re probably our own worst enemies: you’ve got to complete [your sets] and I think they had 7 of the last 9 sets or something like that, and I think we’d burned all our matches, metaphorically speaking.”

“All we can do [now]  is regroup and have another crack.”

The Eels forward pack welcomes back hooker Nathan Peats for the Round 6 match up with the Raiders, while prop Daniel Alvaro will step into the starting side in place of injured club Captain Tim Mannah, and Wicks says the side will be in good hands with the two additions.

“Peatsy’s a competitor no matter what arena he’s in. He’s been training well and we’ll be looking forward to having him back,” Wicks said.

“[Daniel], he’s a big kid and I’ve got massive wraps on him. I think he played 60 minutes for Wenty (Wentworthville Magpies) last week for 200 run metres, 21 carries. The kid’s got a big engine and he’s got a big future.”

The Eels kick off against the Canberra Raiders at 3pm on Saturday, April 9, at Pirtek Stadium as part of a triple-header of footy. Family general admission passes are just $40*, click through to secure your seats as we celebrate Territory Day in Parramatta!