The Parramatta Eels are continuing to battle an extreme shortage of outside backs, and star half Dylan Brown has revealed he would have no problems remaining in the centres if he was required to do so.

Brown was shuffled to the centres an hour before kick-off on Sunday afternoon against the Newcastle Knights - a match the Eels eventually won 39 points to 2.

The move came after Tom Opacic was a late scratching from the side, failing to recover from a throat injury he sustained in a shock Easter Monday loss against the Wests Tigers.

With Hayze Perham also coming into the side and plenty of players on the sideline - including fill in Marata Niukore - it meant Brown was forced to move into the centres, with Jakob Arthur starting in the halves alongside Mitchell Moses.

The move comes despite Brown being one of the competition's in-form five-eighths to start the season, with the Eels near the top of the NRL ladder.

Brown has revealed he will have no problems remaining in the centres however if that's what is needed for the club.

"It was lucky we did it in the trial, because look what happened," Brown said.

"Brad obviously has a plan as a coach, and when you think about it, I work for Brad so whatever he says goes and I'm happy to do that.

"I'm not sure who's back when but if I need to keep playing centre, I'm happy to do so."

It's understood Opacic and Niukore could both be back, although the Eels may not take Opacic on a flight to Darwin for Saturday's clash with the North Queensland Cowboys.

NRL Rd 16 - Panthers v Eels
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 02: Tom Opacic of the Eels is seen wearing a black arm-band for the death of his brother Jakob, during the round 16 NRL match between the Penrith Panthers and the Parramatta Eels at BlueBet Stadium on July 02, 2021, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Sean Russell is also rumoured to be nearing a return, with the club formerly suggesting he would be back on deck somewhere between Round 8 and 10.

However, Brown said it was good to learn different positions.

"Footy is footy," Brown said.

"Probably the hardest part is defence, knowing when to jam and when not to jam.

"But it's good to learn different positions, because you just never know (when you'll be needed)."