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Plenty of Roosters in Parramatta pen

There is a bit of a Roosters revolution going on at Parramatta.

Four Eels named to face the Telstra Premiership premiers on Friday night at ANZ Stadium still hold the Tricolours dear to their hearts.

Brad Takairangi (2010) and Kane Evans (2014) each made their NRL debuts with the Roosters.

Michael Jennings (2013) and Blake Ferguson (2018) won a premiership apiece with the Bondi Junction club.

They have both scored two tries for the Eels in 2019, which is something that gives the whole Parramatta side confidence facing such fierce opponents this week.

"It's come at a good time now. We're confident as a team and as a club," Jennings told

"It's a great opportunity to see where we're really at. It's a great test."

Takairangi tries to explain how a 2-0 start to the season expresses itself out on the Saleyards paddock where the Eels prepare each week.

"You can feel how upbeat it is at training – plenty of smiles on everyone's faces," he said.

"We want to keep that momentum flowing and take it into the Roosters game.

"It's always good to come up against the old team. They are the benchmark of the competition so that's another good reason to want to take them on right now.

Eels v Roosters - Round 3

"I'll never forget my time at the Roosters. And I will always be grateful for the start they gave me. A lot of the boys still playing there were around when I was there."

Looking at the NRL ladder, the benchmarks are hard to read at this early stage. It is the Eels sitting in second spot with the Roosters 1-1 start relegating them to 10th.

Regardless, Jennings still has flashbacks whenever he sees the Roosters jersey in front of him.

"You can never take the memories away of my time at the Roosters," Jennings said.

"I won a grand final there so that bonds you. I have very fond memories and mates over there.

"But you do always want to beat your old team. It's always a little jump for you to see familiar faces on the other side.

"It is pretty funny to think there's a small group of us here now."

Ferguson scored 50 tries in his 90 games with the Roosters, including 18 last season.

The Roosters' loss of that point-scoring ability could dent their chances of back-to-back NRL titles.

But fellow grand final winner Isaac Liu says there's no hard feelings Ferguson left for the Eels, instead there's quite a bit of anticipation for a reunion on Friday.

"I’m actually excited. I think all the boys are," Liu said.

"We can't wait to get out there, by the same token it'll be a bit weird having a few boys there that used to be with us.

"But we're all really happy for him. He seems very happy where he is and it's good to see him still playing the good footy he had with us."

Acknowledgement of Country

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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