Will Smith will captain the Parramatta Eels for the first time when the team plays the Penrith Panthers in Round 25 of the NRL.
The Eels play their final regular game of the season against their Western Sydney rivals at Cbus Super Stadium on Friday 3 September at 8:05pm.
Smith steps into the role, with Clint Gutherson being rested ahead of the finals.
The Eels’ fullback left the field injured last game, but Head Coach Brad Arthur always intended on resting a few players before the their premiership charge begins.
“Gutho definitely won’t be playing this week and it’s not because of his injury,” Arthur said.
“I had a plan in place, and fortunately for us we got through that game (against the Storm) with the desired result … the plan was probably to rest seven or eight of them and Gutho was one of them.
“A lot of our boys have played every game this year,” Arthur said.
Smith has been a key figure for the Eels since joining the Club in 2017, after coming across from the Panthers.
He has played 72 NRL games, including 14 this season and captained the Eels’ reserve grade team on several occasions.
The Eels will welcome back Gutherson and other rested players in week one of finals, along with Ryan Matterson (suspension), Junior Paulo (suspension) and Reagan Campbell-Gillard (injury).