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There can be few more intimidating places to go in search of a first-up win than CommBank Stadium on a Sunday afternoon.

Faced not only with a powerful Parramatta side but also the raucous blue and gold army, the Titans will need to remain composed and turn to their leaders Kevin Proctor, David Fifita and Isaac Liu to guide them through.

With Mitch Moses and Dylan Brown looking sharp, and Junior Paulo and Reagan Campbell-Gillard ready to rumble, the Eels have the ammunition to take down any rival and they'll be supremely confident of launching their season with a win, just as they have done in four of the past five years.

The Titans have a new captain in Tino Fa'asuamaleaui, a new enforcer in Isaac Liu, a new halves pairing and no shortage of motivation after a heartbreaking loss to the Roosters in last year's elimination final.

Such are the vagaries of the draw that these two sides meet again in round five on the Gold Coast so if the Titans can find a way to spring an upset on Sunday they will carry huge momentum into the return clash which comes after clashes with the Warriors, Raiders and Wests Tigers.

Sportsbet Betting preview: Eels v Titans

The rundown

Team news

Eels: No late changes for the Eels on game day.

Brad Arthur has named the same 17-man squad which was so impressive against premiers Penrith in the trials. Such is Parramatta's depth that quality first-graders Nathan Brown, Mitch Rein and Bryce Cartwright were listed among the reserves for the season opener.

Cartwright is 18th man.

Titans: A late change for the Titans with AJ Brimson dropping out and his place at five-eighth taken by Will Smith. The new man on the bench is Tanah Boyd.

Former Rooster Isaac Liu brings 203 games of experience into the front row, where he will partner Moeaki Fotuaika. After starting every game last year in the front row Jarrod Wallace could not find a place in the 17.

Esan Marsters is 18th man.

Greg Marzhew came in for Corey Thompson earlier in the week.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Eels is number 1 Clinton Gutherson
    Fullback for Titans is number 1 Jayden Campbell
  • Winger for Eels is number 2 Sean Russell
    Winger for Titans is number 2 Phillip Sami
  • Centre for Eels is number 3 Will Penisini
    Centre for Titans is number 3 Brian Kelly
  • Centre for Eels is number 4 Waqa Blake
    Centre for Titans is number 4 Patrick Herbert
  • Winger for Eels is number 5 Bailey Simonsson
    Winger for Titans is number 24 Greg Marzhew
  • Five-Eighth for Eels is number 6 Dylan Brown
    Five-Eighth for Titans is number 14 Will Smith
  • Halfback for Eels is number 7 Mitchell Moses
    Halfback for Titans is number 7 Toby Sexton

Forwards

  • Prop for Eels is number 8 Reagan Campbell-Gillard
    Prop for Titans is number 8 Moeaki Fotuaika
  • Hooker for Eels is number 9 Reed Mahoney
    Hooker for Titans is number 9 Erin Clark
  • Prop for Eels is number 10 Junior Paulo
    Prop for Titans is number 10 Isaac Liu
  • 2nd Row for Eels is number 11 Shaun Lane
    2nd Row for Titans is number 11 David Fifita
  • 2nd Row for Eels is number 12 Isaiah Papali'i
    2nd Row for Titans is number 12 Beau Fermor
  • Lock for Eels is number 13 Ryan Matterson
    Lock for Titans is number 13 Tino Fa'asuamaleaui

Interchange

  • Interchange for Eels is number 14 Makahesi Makatoa
    Interchange for Titans is number 15 Sam Lisone
  • Interchange for Eels is number 15 Oregon Kaufusi
    Interchange for Titans is number 16 Jaimin Jolliffe
  • Interchange for Eels is number 16 Ray Stone
    Interchange for Titans is number 17 Kevin Proctor
  • Interchange for Eels is number 17 Jake Arthur
    Interchange for Titans is number 19 Tanah Boyd

Reserves

  • Replacement for Eels is number 19 Bryce Cartwright
    Replacement for Titans is number 21 Esan Marsters

Match Officials

  • Referee: Grant Atkins
  • Touch Judge: Dave Munro
  • Touch Judge: Wyatt Raymond
  • Senior Review Official: Matt Noyen

Last updated:

Key match-up

Junior Paulo v Moeaki Fotuaika: Two big men who will be out to mark their turf from the opening exchanges. With the added responsibility of captaincy, Paulo could be even more dangerous, a scary thought when you consider he averaged 128 metres per game in 2021 and was a mainstay of the Blues' Origin-winning pack. Fotuaika was immense for the Titans with 143 metres per game and played all three Origins for the Maroons off the bench. 

Stat attack

The Eels have played 31 matches at their state of the art home ground since it was christened in style in 2019 with an Easter Monday thumping of Wests Tigers. Their record at CommBank Stadium stands at an ultra impressive 24 wins and seven losses - a home ground advantage as valuable as any in the NRL.

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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