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Corey Norman in action on Day Two of the Downer NRL Auckland Nines.

The Brisbane Broncos will be the first team to face Parramatta's new-look halves pairing and Matt Gillett says they'll be ready to handle in-form former teammate Corey Norman and Kiwis star Kieran Foran on Thursday night.

Player of the tournament at the 2016 Downer NRL Auckland Nines, Norman is tipped to excel under the guidance of newly recruited halfback Kieran Foran.

Norman joined the Eels in 2014 after four years with the Broncos and Gillett said the 25-year-old has become one of Parramatta's best since making the move down south.

"Corey will be throwing a bit of cheek out on the field as per usual. He loves to talk and you can hear him the whole time even if they don't have the ball in their hands," Gillett said.

"He's a pretty laid back player but it works well for him. He's a natural footy player. He doesn't think too much. He just plays what comes his way.

"It will be very interesting to see him and Foran team up and play out the season together."

The 2016 NRL season looms as a make or break year for the Eels as they look to play finals football for the first time since 2009.

"We've had a look at their trial against Penrith and they do have some big and explosive boys in their side," Gillett said.

"They are going to go pretty well this year with Kieran Foran there and Corey Norman in the halves.

"We don't really know what they are going to bring at the start of the year but we had a good look at them and there is no doubt it will be tough game come Thursday night.

"Each time we've gone down to Parramatta it's been a close game and a tough battle. It is normally won in the latter stages of the game and I expect no different going down there on Thursday night."

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