Eels recall Matterson for NRL finals derby

Ryan Matterson has been named in the Parramatta squad for their NRL semi-final against Penrith.
Ryan Matterson has been named in the Parramatta squad for their NRL semi-final against Penrith.

Parramatta coach Brad Arthur has reversed a controversial move to rest Ryan Matterson from week one of the NRL finals by recalling the star second-rower to face Penrith on Saturday night.

After a three-week suspension for a high shot, the 26-year-old was available but overlooked for Sunday's sudden-death 28-20 win over Newcastle.

Matterson's exclusion came as a shock given he's the only other player aside from Blake Ferguson in the Parramatta side with premiership-winning experience.

The pair won a title with the Sydney Roosters in 2018.

Arthur explained he didn't want to risk playing Matterson underdone, but it appears those concerns have been squashed after he was named on the bench in place of Makahesi Makatoa for the western Sydney derby in Mackay.

It sets up a near full-strength battle between the sides after the Panthers named fullback Dylan Edwards to make his return from a minor footy injury that forced him to miss the 16-10 loss to South Sydney.

Penrith thrashed their arch-rivals 40-6 a fortnight ago but the Eels had rested the majority of their big stars.

The Panthers are aiming for a third straight win over the Eels after grinding out a 13-12 victory earlier this year.

"We didn't take our opportunities (against the Rabbitohs) and we're going to have to against a team like Parramatta," said halfback Nathan Cleary on Tuesday.

"It's a completely different ball game now (to when we played them in round 16) and completely different to two weeks ago when they had a lot of players out.

"It's hard to predict what they're going to be like, that's why a lot of focus is on ourselves to prepare the best we can.

"We do our homework but we've got to go into the game and execute our game plan."

Manly have also named Lachlan Croker to face Sydney Roosters in Mackay on Friday night.

The 24-year-old was ruled out of the Sea Eagles' 40-12 loss to Melbourne with a minor back complaint, but given the sudden-death nature of final he will be given every chance to play.

However, the Roosters have copped a blow with Siosiua Taukeiaho to miss Friday's clash with a calf injury.

The veteran forward aggravated a calf injury two minutes into their their win over Gold Coast and has not been named to take on the Sea Eagles.

Australian Associated Press