Raiders veteran Jordan Rapana is confident of filling in at fullback this week and for the remainder of the season after the club's fullback stocks took another hit on Tuesday.
The Raiders will turn to Rapana to fill a fullback void after teenage whiz kid Xavier Savage was ruled out for the rest of the year with a shoulder injury.
Savage will return to Canberra this week and undergo surgery after scans revealed significant damage to his AC joint following last week's win over the Sharks.
His absence leaves Raiders coach Ricky Stuart light on for fullback options with Rapana getting the nod over former Panther Caleb Aikens.
"I'm gutted for the young fella, he's come in his first couple of games and showed a lot of energy and spark," Rapana said of Savage.
Try July nears $200,000 mark
"He's been a massive addition to our team so it's quite sad for him. He's young and full of youth so the injury that he has shouldn't keep him out too long.
"I reassured him today he's still young and these setbacks happen in your career but don't let that hold you back.
"We saw in the first two games he's played the type of superstar he can become."
Rapana said he was ready to step up in the fullback role after his first opportunity of the year came abruptly during round five against the Panthers when Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad left the field.
Every try from Round 18
"It's a bit better at least being given a week's notice instead of being chucked in there 10 minutes into a game like against the Panthers last time," Rapana grinned.
"I feel as though I'm comfortable and confident enough to cover there. I'll definitely be blowing no doubt but if we hold the ball and complete like we did against Manly I'm pretty sure Josh Papalii could play fullback.
"That's going to be a big difference."
The Raiders appear to have turned a corner with wins over the Sea Eagles and Sharks in recent weeks but the loss of Jack Wighton (ribs) is also a setback Stuart's side will have to overcome if they're to beat the Eels.
"Jacko's going to be a huge miss for us, he's such a big part of our team but we're fortunate we've got the back-up of players such as [Matt] Frawley.
"He's always ready to go and is a true professional.
"We saw in the Manly game that repeat sets after repeat sets build pressure and tiring forwards puts them under the pump."
NRL players open up on ‘weird’ hub situation
In a twist, the Eels will also be without their deputy in Mitchell Moses due to a back injury, meaning both starting NSW halves from Origin III won't take the field.
"Parramatta are a top-four team for a reason so there's no better way to test ourselves this week," Rapana said.
"We've gone back to the basics, especially against Manly. It doesn't matter how good a forward pack you have if you hold the ball and get those repeat sets any team is going to struggle to win a game."