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Penrith prop Jeremy Latimore says he can't wait for a local derby against his old team Parramatta in 2015.

He's at his fourth club in eight years, so it's no wonder Panthers prop Jeremy Latimore embraces the journeyman tag as if it was his middle name.

But even he admits that every journey starts somewhere.

So when NRL clock strikes twelve and the 2015 draw drops into his inbox, the first game he'll circle is the one just down the M4 or when those neighbourhood Eels slither into town.

"Obviously I debuted [with Parramatta] so I've got a little bit of history there. But since I've been at the club here in Penrith, whenever there's a local derby, it's always a bit special. I remember they bashed us last year when we played them at Parramatta," he tells

We remember. It was a Jarryd Hayne and Chris Sandow one-two punch that led to a 32-16 beatdown. The Panthers were 2-2 and were on their way to justifying those trusting pre-season predictions of more mountains rebuilding out western Sydney way.

"And then when we played them here it was the biggest crowd we've had at Penrith. Haynsey didn't play that game, but it ended up being one of the best games we played all year," Latimore recalls.

"So I'm really looking forward to playing them again. We've got them the last trial so we'll see where we're at and where they're at."

In Penrith's favour is Jarryd Hayne's elephant-sized talent no longer lurking at the back of the NRL field.

"It may make life a little bit easier," Latimore laughs of Hayne's departure to the US to try and make it in the NFL. "He's a freak of nature and I really hope he makes it over there. If there's anyone in the NRL that could do it, it'd be him. Or Greg Inglis."

But like we said, Latimore has been around for long enough now to know there's more than one animal in this NRL jungle.

"I think they said Will Hopoate will play fullback. He'll be more than capable," he says. "For a guy who missed two years of rugby league, he certainly played pretty well last year. Another pre-season, who knows what he'll do this year?

"They've got big Darcy Lussick, he goes hunting and packs a bit of heat. It's always a good battle, and we've got Plummy [Nigel Plum] and [Adam] Docker that shorten up a few. It's definitely a good battle in the middle. And if their halves are firing, Sandow and Norman, they bring an element of 'who knows what's coming'."

Latimore, 28, has only been at the foot of the mountains since the end of 2012, back during times when losses were aplenty and fans were far too few.

"We just weren't getting as many [good] results back then," he says.

"Gus [club general manager Phil Gould] and [coach] Ivan [Cleary] brought a whole new feel to the club and it's just an unreal feeling out here at the moment. It's very exciting for the west. We're on our way up," he says.

And for the first time in a long time, fans believe them.

"That's why you play football. When the fans are on your back, cheering, you hear the Penrith chant, or you do something good... the excitement levels go up. The adrenalin starts rushing," he says.

"The more [people] we can get to our home games the better. It's tough, we had a lot of Monday night games last year and I know everyone works so it's hard. Hopefully the NRL looks after us this year."

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours 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.

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