The Parramatta Eels will return to the 2017 Downer Auckland Nines at Eden Park in Auckland on February 4-5, 2017 and Blue and Gold forward is looking forward to the weekend.

Speaking this morning (Wednesday 7 December) at the official Jersey Launch in the Heroes and Legends Museum at Rugby League Central, Moeroa says there will plenty of excitement to return to the field, hoping to bring home the trophy.

“The Nines is an awesome weekend, the crowd is electric and just being able to run around with the boys again after a long off-season is the best feeling,” Moeroa said.

“It was a little kick in the stomach to take away the trophy from us but it just gives us more motivation to go back out there and win it again.”

See the Eels Auckland Nines Draw

The Eels have drawn the New Zealand Warriors, Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles and St. George Illawarra Dragons in the Pihu pool, and Moeroa expects it to be a tough contest to the Finals.

“The Warriors in our pool, we all know that they pull the biggest crowds so that will be good for one, but obviously when they get the big crowds it gives them a little push. Hopefully we can beat them with our fans behind us,” Moeroa said.

“Manly and the Dragons they bring some tough competition but hopefully we can get up against them and through to the Finals.”

And away from the Nines, back on the training paddock, Moeroa says the Blue and Gold squad have been working hard, focusing on pushing each other as hard as they can as the prepare for 2017.

“Pre-season has been really tough and I think the boys will agree that it has been nothing short of torture. The boys have been enjoying it but we have also been getting great bonds and fun along the way,” Moeroa said.

“There is more competition for spots and everyone is trying to push themselves to be the front runners for positions. Everyone has come back fitter and stronger ready to take on 2017.”

“Having Frank Pritchard and Suaia Matagi come over, growing up I watched them playing on TV so to have them on our side, it’s a great addition to our forward pack.” He added.

The NRL Auckland Nines weekend will be held on 4-5 February, 2017, before the Eels host their annual 2017 Blue and Gold Army Festival and pre-season trials.