Parramatta have named a strong squad to contest the 2020 Perth NRL Nines.
While there are some concerns with playing stars such as Mitchell Moses, the inclusion of those players indicates the club intends to try and win the competition.
- Blake Ferguson: One of the best wingers in the competition. Fast, strong, capable of beating multiple defenders, terrific in the air and his go forward on kick returns will be invaluable in the shortened format.
- Brad Takairangi: A utility capable of playing across the park, especially in the Nines format. Has the potential to be a gamebreaker and can slot in anywhere from the centres to the halves and into the back row. He could be a real point of difference in the attack given his ability to offload.
- Clint Gutherson (c): One of the NRL's fittest players who acquitted himself well representing Australia at the World Nines last year. Not the fastest or most skillful player but his ability to be out there for long stints cannot be underrated and his support through the middle could open up plenty of scoring opportunities.
- David Gower: A good workhorse and a crafty player. Was a key part of previous Nines sides with his ability to gain yards through the middle as well as act as an extra ball player.
- George Jennings: Strong runner of the ball with an eye for the try line, the younger Jennings will be used to rest Ferguson and Sivo.
- Haze Dunster: This will be his first taste of playing with and against regular first graders. An ability to play in the centres and on the wing will allow him to move around the field and his size will mean he'll be well positioned to get the Eels' sets off to a strong start.
- Jaeman Salmon: Made his name as a running 5/8 in the Cronulla juniors. Yet to see the footwork and speed he was known for but Nines may afford him the space to show why the Eels were so keen to nab him from the Shire.
- Junior Paulo: One of the most damaging props in the game. He's recently added a short ball to his game to complement his late offloads and footwork. Will be a real handful to contain in this format and a lot of Parramatta's plays will come off the back of his charges.
- Maika Sivo: Like his country man Semi Radradra, Sivo is built for this format. Strong, fast and impossible to stop one-on-one, you'd expect the Eels will be looking to get him into space and let him run.
- Marata Niukore: Could very well fill the void left by Manu Ma'u with his powerful charges and bruising defence. An effective crash line runner, his halves will look to position him one-on-one on the edges.
- Mitch Moses: Voted the best player in the World Nines, Moses is the most damaging half when given time and space. His speed, kicking game and game breaking ability led Australia to the World Nines championship and will no doubt be the key if the Eels are to win the trophy.
- Oregon Kaufusi: Has made a solid start to his first grade career and brings the ball forward with good aggression. He'll be one of the rocks the Eels build their middle on.
- Ray Stone: Aggressive, strong and fit, Stone will be a key player in defence and will likely spend some time at dummy half given the fact Reed Mahoney is not in the squad.
- Rhys Davies: Plenty of wraps on the 23 year old's development in the past 12 months and he led the Magpies superbly during the 2019 season. Will likely split his time between hooker and the halves.
- Ryan Matterson: The first chance Eels fans will get to see Matto in the Blue and Gold. A strong, tough player with good ball skills and experience in the halves will mean Arthur can switch him between 5/8 and the back row.
- Shaun Lane: One of Parramatta's best in 2019. He proved a shrewd acquisition by the club and with his size and strength will be an absolute nightmare to deal with in Nines.
- Stefano Utoikamanu: The most talked about Eels junior forward in years. He may be departing the club next year but this is his chance to show that it's not just talk. Big, mobile with footwork to match, he could be Parramatta's surprise weapon.
- Will Smith: His utility value could be a great boon for the squad given how much rotation is needed in these types of competitions. We could see Smith pop up at fullback, five eighth or dummy half. One of the quickest players at the club, he could reportedly match Bevan French over 100 metres.