Gutherson's 'energy' a boost for NRL Eels

Parramatta coach Brad Arthur says Clint Gutherson's return from a long-term knee injury has given the NRL club a boost as the Eels look to end a winless start to the season.

Clinton Gutherson's return to Parramatta has boosted the NRL club, according to coach Brad Arthur.

Clinton Gutherson's return to Parramatta has boosted the NRL club, according to coach Brad Arthur.

Arthur said Gutherson being back wouldn't automatically turn around their worst start to a year since 1991, but the 23-year-old's "good energy" had rubbed off on his teammates.

The fullback hasn't played since round 20 last year against the West Tigers when he ruptured his ACL for the second time in his 47-game career.

He has been named to start in the No.1 jersey against Canberra in the round six match at GIO Stadium on Saturday night.

The Eels are desperate to end a seven-game losing streak going back to last year's qualifying final against Melbourne.

No team has made the finals after making a 0-6 start.

Arthur said he had been forced to hold Gutherson back from an earlier comeback in a bid to protect himself.

"I haven't seen a person in this situation as focused and as mentally prepared as 'Gutho' is because usually guys carry a few demons with this sort of injury," Arthur said on Friday.

"He's been mentally right to play for a long time now but he's more important for us in the long-term to rush him back too soon.

"It's a big plus to have one of your key players coming back into the team but we can't rely on him to do everything and he's not just going to turn it all around for us."

While Gutherson's inclusion shapes as season-defining, the Eels have lost powerful forward Nathan Brown to an ankle injury for this clash.

However, Arthur is confident in Brown's replacement Tepai Moeroa, who he says is one of the team's "most consistent" players.

"Teps' has been playing some backrow and a bit of middle so he's been moving around a bit, but we've got plenty of experience to cover (Brown's) spot," Arthur said.

Parramatta arrived in Canberra on Thursday, a day earlier than normal, and Arthur hoped the change in schedule would work for them after what he says was an improved effort in the 12-6 loss to Penrith last Sunday.

STATS THAT MATTER

- The Raiders have won their past seven games against Parramatta in Canberra. Their last loss at GIO Stadium against the Eels was in round 17, 2006.

- Since 1998 only six teams have started the season 0-6. The last was the Rabbitohs in 2008 - who lost their first seven. If the Eels' lose on Saturday night it will be the worst start in the league in 10 years.

- Canberra boss Ricky Stuart will coach his 350th NRL match, becoming the 11th to do so.

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