Peyroux reveals frustrating wait
Tucked away in the corner of the Warriors' gym minutes after the club's Round 6 victory over the Tigers, Dominique Peyroux sat exhausted and drenched in sweat.
In the NRL that's a badge of honour; proof that you have given your all for the jersey and the 16 men around you on the field.
But on this occasion Peyroux hadn't played a single minute of the game.
After serving as the side's 18th man he was omitted from the squad at kick-off, watching on from the stands before being summonsed to a meeting with strength and conditioning coach Ruben Wiki, where burpees, wrestling and a bunch of other-gut-busting exercises filled the agenda.
"It's a bit embarrassing when everyone comes in on a high after a game and you are getting flogged and sweating up, but you can't do much about it," Peyroux told NRL.com.
"The 18th man has to train after the game with big Ruben and no one wants to do that, especially with that guy.
"No one wants to be in that position, but unfortunately for me I have been in that position a few times now.
"It's bittersweet being 18th man, you know you are in the mix… [but] it's all mental I think, staying positive and remembering that there is hope of getting a run."
Since arriving at the Warriors in 2013 Peyroux has become a veteran of the No.18 jersey, frequently being called upon as cover in a period which has seen him play just 19 of a possible 57 NRL games.
This season the Samoan international has played just three games off the bench – he's been 18th man the same number of times – for a total of 50 minutes.
This Saturday against the Eels at Pirtek Stadium Peyroux gets his first start, replacing the suspended Konrad Hurrell at right centre.
"It will be nice to sort of concentrate on one position, rather than a whole heap," 26-year-old Peyroux said.
"I have been training in the centres and Cappy (coach Andrew McFadden) has had confidence in my ability.
"It is relieving to get that starting position for the first time this year."
It's likely to be a tough initiation for Peyroux and right winger Jonathan Wright, tasked with containing the lethal attacking duo of Brad Takairangi and Semi Radradra, who between them have 21 tackle breaks in 2015.
"Defence is my game… it overpowers my attack," Peyroux said.
"They have got a strong left side there at the Parramatta Eels, they have got Manu Ma'u, Brad Takairangi and Semi Radradra.
"They have been playing well but it's a challenge which we are looking forward to."
Meanwhile McFadden said Peyroux was the obvious choice for this week's clash, with the Warriors nursing a backline causality ward which includes Matt Allwood, Glen Fisiiahi, Ben Henry, Ngani Laumape and Sam Tomkins.
"He [Peyroux] certainly does deserve his spot, he has been putting pressure on our first-grade team for the last six weeks," McFadden said.
"He has finally got his opportunity and I am very confident in him."