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They may be separated by 12 places on the NRL Ladder and had 50 points between them when they met just 10 weeks ago, however when the Roosters meet the Eels tonight a walk in the park is far from what they will face.

After a disrupted week for the high-flying Chooks, with three of the Bondi clubs stars unable to train alongside their team mates following their inclusion in the NSW Squad for the State of Origin series opener, the challenge ahead is how well they can come together after a 13 day wait since their last match.

Parramatta too however have faced a bumpy week, with their skipper and star fullback Jaryd Hayne missing through Origin duty and the news out of Eels HQ that more than half their squad is not wanted by new coach Ricky Stuart for the 2014 season and beyond.

Two weeks ago, you couldnt have blamed Eels supporters for writing this match off but with a Roosters side having not had their two playmakers directing them around the paddock along with try-scoring machine Michael Jennings also missing the Eels added motivation of proving their coaching staff wrong may just be the kick they struggling Blue and Gold army needed.

With Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (suspension) and Sam Moa (injured) still unavailable for selection, Trent Robinson has named the same seventeen that narrowly lost the defending premiers the Storm less than two weeks ago, including his Blues trio who he confirmed would start on Thursday morning.

Former Eel Dan Mortimer will face the team he led to a grand final back in 2009, however a much different side to the one he was a part of with the new-look Eels who will be led on Friday by just a handful of senior players in the former of Hayne, co-captains Tim Mannah and Reni Maitua and the long-serving Fui Fui Moi Moi and Matt Keating.

With the Parramatta Stadium stands undoubtedly set to be behind their boys, and Club, they revved up Eels present a challenge for Robinsons men and one that certainly wont be the walk in park many assumed.
Acknowledgement of Country

Sydney Roosters 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.