Eels skipper Clint Gutherson is his club's first confirmed starter for the NRL Nines tournament in Perth.
Gutherson was one of the last Eels to return to pre-season in part due to his post-season commitments with the Australian World Nines squad. He jokes that while he's now a veteran of the format, he still isn't good at it.
Eels coach Brad Arthur is in the process of deciding which players would make the squad for the February 14-15 event.
"I think Brad's going to start getting around [telling people]; I know I'm playing so that's exciting," Gutherson said.
"The boys are really looking forward to it, everyone's putting their hand up."
How the Perth NRL Nines will work
Gutherson was one of three Eels, along with forward Nathan Brown and halfback Mitch Moses – the latter crowned the player of the tournament – who starred in the historic win at Bankwest Stadium in October.
The Eels also had Maika Sivo and Waqa Blake (Fiji), Dylan Brown (New Zealand) and Brad Takairangi (Cook Islands) involved, with Takairangi particularly impressive as the Kukis upset Tonga and Fiji.
"I know big Takas is [keen] after his performance in the World Nines," Gutherson laughed.
"[Moses] hasn't shut up about it. We've got enough players here to be able to field a good team so I'm looking forward to it.
"Whoever plays is going to go over there and have some fun. It's so good that it's back, especially with how the world one went in the off-season.
"Anyone that plays is going to have a good time, it's good for us as players and for fans and the NRL in general."
NRL Nines the next step in growing national game
Gutherson also featured in the 2014 and 2015 Auckland Nines for Manly, and in 2017 for Parramatta, making him one of the most experiences Nines players in the NRL.
"I played the first three or four, with Manly and one at Parra so I'm a veteran now," he said.
"I'm still not good at it but it's fun. A different style of play. It just breaks it up from always 13-on-13."
Despite Moses's starring role in October, he insisted he wasn't clamouring to repeat the effort in blue and gold.
"I don't know what Brad's doing at the moment so if I'm playing I'll try to do something," he said.
"It's exciting here at the moment, we've got a good squad so whoever Brad takes will do a job."
The Eels won the 2016 Auckland Nines title on the back of starring performances from Corey Norman, Semi Radradra and Bevan French but had the trophy stripped as part of the club's salary cap penalty.
Junior Paulo, Peni Terepo and David Gower are the only members of that Nines squad still at the club.
Official NRL Travel packages, including NRL Nine’s tickets, accommodation options and exclusive experiences with NRL Legends can be purchased via www.nrl.com/travel