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Departing Eels forward Tepai Moeroa says his departure from his long-term home at Parramatta is starting to become real now that he realises each game could be his last in blue and gold.

The schoolboy rugby star is returning to the 15-man code with the Waratahs once his 2019 NRL contract wraps up on November 1 and he's hoping this Saturday's semi-final in Melbourne won't be his last chance to run out with his Parramatta team-mates.

Regardless of whether the Eels' season finishes on September 21, September 28 or October 6, Moeroa still plans to finish his rugby league duties with the Cook Islands, who have the World Nines and a World Cup qualifier between the end of the NRL season and Moeroa's move to rugby.

"You come to realise this game could be your last in the colours so you want to do your best for the team, the coaching staff and the fans," Moeroa told

Moeroa joins the party as the Eels crack 40

"I just try and do what I can for the boys. We go down to Melbourne this week, hopefully we can put our best foot forward.

"You don't really think about it [being the last game] but it will randomly pop up, this could be the last training session or last game, you just take a step back and soak it all up."

After six seasons in the Eels' NRL squad and 10 years at the club all up, Moeroa's time in blue and gold has spanned his entire adolescence and adulthood.

"Even when I was 14 I was at Parra, they brought me through the system," he added.

"Them and my parents are the reason I am where I am today. I can't thank them enough for the opportunity. Unfortunately all good things come to an end.

"You think back on the memories, the good and the bad, hopefully we can go out there and do a job."

Regardless of how things go against the Storm, Moeroa plans to kit up alongside clubmates Brad Takairangi and Marata Niukore a few more times when they reunite for the Kukis.

"My contract doesn't finish til November so the World Nines and World Cup qualifier (against USA), I'm eligible for that," he said.

"I'll see how we go and how we finish up with Parra then hopefully get an opportunity to play for the Cook Islands again.

"When we played against South Africa [in the mid-year World Cup qualifier] it was a short camp, three or four days, and just in that little time the amount of connection we were able to have over that short amount of time.

"Imagine a two-week camp with Takas, Alex Glenn, all the older boys, hopefully boys like Dylan Napa, Joey Manu, if they're not selected for Australia and New Zealand they can play for Cook Islands. Just that experience and having that experience around the boys seems to electrify the mood."

The magic of Bankwest

Moeroa is at least finishing with a bang form-wise; after some very limited minutes off the bench late in the season he made a season-high 141 metres in round 25 against Manly before bettering it with 164 metres and his first try of the year in the Broncos thrashing on Sunday.

"In those games where I've had short stints it's just how the game's turned out," he said.

"It helps when you've got guys like Junior Paulo and Nathan Brown that can smash out big minutes plus Kane Evans and Marata as well punching out big minutes so that's why my minutes sometimes get limited. It's just the way it happens but I'm easy, whatever Brad wants me to do I'll do it."

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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