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The long and the short of it in Eels front row

Visually, it is one of the more odd-looking front rows in the NRL but it also could be one of the most effective.

Junior Paulo and Reagan Campbell-Gillard are the long and short of it as bookends and then you've got the shorter stature of Reed Mahoney at hooker in the middle.

"It does look a bit funny. Reedy is only about three-foot six but he's got a massive future," Campbell-Gillard told

"Yes, he is a midget," added back-rower Shaun Lane. "But they all bring something different. They're all really talented players and Reedy doesn't take a back step.

"He earned some fair praise last season and got put into the Queensland Origin extended squad so that says a few things about him."

The fact he lines up between two international props in Paulo and Campbell-Gillard gives the Eels extra clout.

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Campbell-Gillard is 15cm taller than Paulo and nearly 20cm above Mahoney.

Paulo is eight kilos heavier than Campbell-Gillard and tips the scales at 37kg more than Mahoney.

"There's a whole mixture of shapes and sizes and abilities," Campbell-Gillard said.

"Our pack looks good on paper so it's just a matter of getting those combinations right so we work well in real life too."

After switching from Penrith in the off-season, Campbell-Gillard played in each of Parramatta's trials to make the transition smoother before his first NRL game for the Eels at Bankwest Stadium on Thursday night against the Bulldogs.

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"Training every day with the guys you do get those combinations but you don't get how everyone operates through games," he said.

"So that's why I wanted those two trials. It will come – I know it – I'll just stick to the processes here as I find everyone's strengths and weaknesses.

"It's a challenge to myself to learn all that and I'm probably 85 per cent there.

"I can honestly say it's been a fresh and a new kick-start for me. I feel like I've made the right decision to come here.

"It's like starting a new school. You don't want to leave your old one but your family has moved to a different place so you have to."

Lane said the former Panther had made his presence felt already.

"Reagan has been a really good acquisition. He's a really good forward leader for us. I don't know what sort of guy he was before he came here but it's been a surprise how well he's fitted in," Lane said.

"He's a bloke that really knows the game – and seems to know what to say, how to say it and how to inspire us."

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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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