Josh Drinkwater is set to be the 186th player to pull on the Wests Tigers NRL jersey, with the playmaker called into the side to play Parramatta at ANZ Stadium tomorrow night.
The 23-year-old will start at halfback in the absence of Luke Brooks, who was officially ruled out of the match this morning with a shoulder injury suffered during last weekend's loss to the Panthers.
Drinkwater came to Wests Tigers ahead of the 2015 season following a year in the Super League with the London Broncos.
Previous to that, Drinkwater played four NRL games for St. George Illawarra in 2013 on the back of a stellar Holden Cup career with Manly-Warringah.
The Terrigal Sharks junior has played this season in NSW Cup and the Eels clash will be his first NRL game since Round 26 of the 2013 season.
"I have really wanted to do this since coming back from England,” Drinkwater said. “It has been a long 17-weeks or so in NSW Cup and I'm very excited.
"I have matured a lot since I last played an NRL game so really looking forward to testing myself.”
Head Coach Jason Taylor is confident that the former Dragon will step-up given his familiarity with the team after training with the side since pre-season training began last November.
“Josh has done a great job all season getting himself ready week after week playing NSW Cup and knowing that if there was an injury in the halves that he was the man to take that role,” Taylor said during a press conference this morning. “He is ready to do that and it’s great because he has been really patient.”
Drinkwater credited his stint in London as preparing him well for a second shot at NRL football.
"It was really good (In England),” he said “I went over there to improve as a player and mature as a person and I feel as though it has worked for me.
"I have come home a better player and a lot more mature; I'm really excited.”