Eels welcome back star trio from injury

Scott Bailey
Ryan Matterson, Blake Ferguson and Mitchell Moses are back in Parramatta's NRL line-up

Mitchell Moses' return will come at the perfect time for Parramatta, with coach Brad Arthur urging him to lift the NRL team's energy against the Wests Tigers.

The Eels turned in their first poor performance of the year in their loss to Manly last week, with Arthur claiming players "let the club down" in the opening 20 minutes.

But they will have a significant boost on Thursday night against the Tigers at Bankwest Stadium.

Moses is on track to return from a hamstring injury after three weeks and only had to get through a light run on Wednesday to confirm his place.

Winger Blake Ferguson is set to come back from a knee issue while Ryan Matterson will overcome a thumb injury.

The Eels are also hopeful Nathan Brown and Maika Sivo will play after picking up knocks in the loss to the Sea Eagles.

But the biggest responsibility falls on Moses.

Halves partner Dylan Brown commented this week on the mental fatigue of recent weeks, with Arthur saying that would likely have come through Moses' absence.

"To get those three players back, we will be leaning on them quite a bit to bring that energy and bring that talk and enthusiasm," Arthur said.

"Talk becomes infectious and that breeds enthusiasm. And then it become infectious for the rest of the team.

"To get Mitchell back this week will help Gutho (fullback Clint Gutherson) and with those two being the most experienced players, it will help everyone."

Moses has gone through full training unscathed this week, running up to seven kilometres at the weekend.

The No.7 was one of the form players of the competition before his injury, being the guiding force behind the Eels' rise to the top of the table.

Meanwhile, both teams played down the furore over Matterson's exit from the Tigers last year after an ugly split.

Parramatta this week moved to minimise claims this week he told the Tigers he wanted out because they wouldn't win a title.

Arthur did not expect any extra fire from the forward and claimed he was no different from any other player going up against a former club.

Tigers coach Michael Maguire also tried to deviate, instead praising what he'd got out of the club's recruits for 2020 from the available salary cap space.

"We've got players like Luc (Leilua), Adam Doueihi and BJ (Leilua) off the opportunities that presented themselves," Maguire said.

"We're looking forward to see those boys perform."

STATS THAT MATTER

* Parramatta put on scores of 51 and 30 in their two wins over Wests Tigers at Bankwest Stadium last year.

* Parramatta are ranked first for tackle busts, with the Wests Tigers second.

* The Tigers right side has score 21 of their 44 tries.