The Parramatta Eels will clash with the Newcastle Knights in their pre-season trial at Maitland No.1 Sports Ground this Saturday 24 February and Blue & Gold forward Nathan Brown says the side are itching to get back out onto the field.
With the Eels first and only pre-season trial just days away, Brown says the squad are eager to get back out onto the field to kick off the season.
“I am excited to get back out there. It has been a tough pre-season and all the boys are raring to go to see where we are at leading into Round One,” Brown said.
“Everyone is sick of tackling each other. Everyone just wants to get out there as a team and start off the season really well this week.”
Brown says the side will head into the clash with a key focus on defence.
“I think we will be really focused on our defence and that will be key for this trial and the first couple of rounds of the season,” Brown said.
“We have the whole year to work on our attack so I think if we can get our defence right, our attack will come off the back of that.”
“That will be our main focus this week, our defence and all working together.” He added.
This weekend’s trial against the Knights is the only Blue & Gold trial ahead of the season and Brown says the clash will be vital in preparing the side ahead of their season opener against the Panthers on Sunday 11 March.
“I think the trials are really important. They help get the cobwebs out and it’s all about doing everything you can to get ready for Round One,” Brown said.
“Get all what you need out of it, improve on your match fitness, get your ball skills, technique and timing right so it’s very important.”
The Newcastle Knights came away with a victory over the Melbourne Storm in their pre-season trial earlier in the month and Brown expects the opposition to be a tough challenge in front of a local, home, sold out crowd.
“Newcastle have obviously bought a number of players to their squad in 2018 and they have a couple of outside backs that’s are big and strong,” Brown said.
“They have trialled well coming away with a win over the Storm last week and I think they are really keen to have a good 2018 so they will be ready and raring to go up in their home town of Maitland so we will definitely need to be on our game.”
The Eels pre-season trial clash kicks off at 7pm with the clash live streamed on parraeels.com.au.