Corey Norman has been put in cotton wool and rested from Parramatta’s final NRL trial against Penrith on Saturday.
Troy Dargan will line up at No.6 after Norman was not named in coach Brad Arthur’s side for the Pepper Stadium clash.
Norman suffered a hamstring injury during the Auckland Nines and was forced to missed the second day of the pre-season tournament, but was expected to be back for the start of the season proper.
Following Kieran Foran’s departure, the playmaker is key to the Eels bouncing back, following their salary cap saga-affected 2016.
He missed the final eight matches and was fined $20,000 by the NRL last year for a range of indiscretions including a sex tape scandal and pleading guilty to drugs possession.
Semi Radradra will turn out on the wing after he had his domestic violence case adjourned this week.
Radradra will be free to play the first nine games with his hearing resuming on May 2.
Former Brisbane and Gold Coast back Josh Hoffman will start on the wing with Kaysa Pritchard named at starting hooker.
The 22-year-old is the younger brother of forward Frank, who will start on the bench in his first appearance in the blue and gold.
The younger Pritchard earned notoriety after he copped a nine-game ban for swapping places with teammate Kenny Edwards while taking a drugs test.
Parramatta: Bevan French, Semi Radradra, Michael Jennings, Brad Takairangi, Josh Hoffman, Clint Gutherson, Troy Dargan, Suaia Matagi, Kaysa Pritchard, Tim Mannah (c), Manu Ma’u, Tepai Moeroa, Beau Scott (c). Interchange: Nathan Brown, Kenny Edwards, Daniel Alvaro, Frank Pritchard.