The Parramatta Eels are looking to tonight’s match against the Gold Coast Titans after signing a three-year community partnership with Life Education.
Parramatta captain Tim Mannah said the Eels have the opportunity to step up in the absence of halfback Corey Norman against the Gold Coast Titans tonight.
The Eels are sitting pretty in second place after two strong wins in the opening rounds of the competition and hope to carry on without their star playmaker.
“Everyone knows how good Corey is and how important he is to our team,” Mannah said.
“It’s a great challenge for the rest of us to step up.”
While the Eels will be missing Norman for the clash, the Titans will be missing Jarryd Hayne.
Mannah said he was disappointed not to get to go head-to-head with the former Eels star.
“There’s been a lot of chat over the past few weeks and few months between our boys and Jarryd and it would have been good to play him,” Mannah said.
“I’m actually feeling for him a little bit. I think the timing of the injury wasn’t the best for him and we’re hoping he gets a speedy recovery.
“You don’t like to see anyone get injured and it’s probably a good thing for us to play him without Jarryd but as a mate it’s hard to see someone go through an injury especially with all the things going on around him as well.”
The Eels were at the announcement of a three-year community partnership with Life Education.
Life Education deliver school-based programs across to over 40,000 students and 205 schools a year throughout western Sydney, promoting healthy lifestyles.
The agreement will roll out to schools in the Hills District, Parramatta, Western Sydney, Hornsby and Ku-ring-gai regions.
This includes an opportunity for students to sign up to a program to get free season membership to Parramatta Eels Club, including attendance at Eels home games for children under 16, and visits from Eels players when possible.
Parramatta Eels chief executive Bernie Gurr said it was an important step for the club to take.
“Our club is privileged to partner with such an outstanding community organisation as Life Education,” Gurr said.
“Our club is committed to community initiatives and to be able to work with Life Education to positively contribute to the healthy lifestyle of the youth of western Sydney is truly exciting and very meaningful.”
Mannah said he looked forward to getting in the classroom.
“As a club we do a lot of community visits and school visit and try to get the message across,” he said.
“We’ve got some guys that are really good at it, some guys that are a bit shy in front of crowd but it’s great practice.
“As a playing group, the boys really embrace it and enjoy being out in community and making a difference.”