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Takairangi proud to take 150 games in his stride

It's a big year for Brad Takairangi.

It's his 10th year of NRL, his fifth season with his beloved Parramatta Eels, and he plays his 150th game this weekend.

Then again, he wasn't keeping count.

"I just got told over there – so I'm not surprised now," Takairangi said of his milestone.

"I knew it was coming around soon but I didn't realise it would be this week.

"It's a very proud moment for me and my family. My dad played for Parramatta back in the day, so to be able to reach 150 games here at the same club is pretty special

"And it's great to be celebrating it now when we're winning games. The team is doing really well."

The Eels are sitting at 3-1 after four rounds, compared with 0-4 this time last year.

Keeping the winning feeling going may be a bit harder as they meet third placed-Canberra at GIO Stadium on Sunday night. A sprinkling of Takairangi's Kiwis teammates will be there like Joe Tapine and Jordan Rapana.

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"I don't think we've won down there in the last five years I've been here so it will be a very big challenge," Takairangi said.

The losing streak actually stretches back a bit further for the Eels – they haven't won at GIO Stadium since 2006.

So a win to celebrate Takairangi's 150th would have extra significance.

He can still remember telling his dad Louis Takairangi – who played three games for the Eels in 1987 – that he was leaving the Titans and signing with Parramatta for the 2015 season.

Eels centre Brad Takairangi.
Eels centre Brad Takairangi. ©Grant Trouville/NRL Photos

"When I signed I didn't think it would have a big impact at all. Then I rang him and told him and he broke down. I didn't realise how much it meant to him," Takairangi said.

"I'm very grateful for the two teams I played for beforehand. Roosters gave me my debut and with the Titans I became a starting player and at Parramatta I feel like I'm at home.

"This is my fifth year here. My family love this place; I love this place; it feels good."

His teammates are on the same page.

"It's a massive, massive thing for Takkers," Mitch Moses said. "He had a tough year last year, under some criticism. So we definitely want the win for him this week."

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His centre partner Michael Jennings admires many things about his 29-year-old friend – not his speed.

"He's just an off-the-cuff player but really skilful for a big fellow," Jennings said.

"He's got a lot of X-factors about him and he creates a lot of opportunities. But he's got no speed!

"So when he gets through the line he's always looking for someone to back him up.

"Speed is not his best attribute but he's been unreal for us. A great leader and voice."

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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