LET THEM PLAY: Whitehead believes Pacific players like former Canberra teammate Junior Paulo should still be allowed to play Origin if the nations become Tier 1. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Not a single player in the NRL today was alive for Parramatta's last premiership, and Junior Paulo is inspired to change that.

It'll be 36 years to the day on Wednesday since the Eels last lifted the trophy, however this time around names like Mick Cronin, Brett Kenny and Peter Sterling will be replaced by the likes of Clint Gutherson, Mitchell Moses and Shaun Lane.

Apart from a two-and-a-half year spell with the Canberra Raiders, Paulo has been an Eel for his entire life, playing SG Ball and Harold Matthews Cup for the club in his junior days before graduating into Parramatta's forwards leader.

NRL Rd 2 - Titans v Eels
GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 22: Junior Paulo of the Eels takes on the defence during the round 2 NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the Parramatta Eels at Cbus Super Stadium on March 22, 2020 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

While those famous surnames will echo Parramatta Leagues Club to the end of time, Paulo doesn't want to surpass or replace the greats as much as wants to join them.

"As a current player you want to become part of that history," Paulo told AAP.

"This club is so rich in history all throughout the '80s. There is a lot of expectation on this group.

"There was always going to be pressure on us, the past couple of years not being able to get through to a grand final or falling out in the second week of finals.

"We have proved a lot of people wrong but there is still a long way to go."

Losing the likes of Reed Mahoney, Isaiah Papali'i and Marata Niukore next season, Parramatta knew they had to capitalise on their 2022 squad before it dissolved, and Paulo believes they're making the most of the opportunity.

"It comes back to how tight this group is," Paulo said.

"It is so passionate and desperate and we want to win. It's just about believing in each other.

"For the current group winning a comp has always been a dream. We have guys moving on next year so what better way to celebrate hopefully what can be a part of history next week."

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 06: Junior Paulo of the Raiders runs the ball during the round 22 NRL match between the Cronulla Sharks and the Canberra Raiders at Shark Park on August 6, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

Paulo had played just one preliminary final before Friday night's win over North Queensland, a 14-12 loss to Melbourne while playing for Canberra in 2016, and departed the Green Machine a season before they made the Grand Final.

Now, the Parramatta behemoth is hellbent on earning his maiden premiership ring, and ensuring the 'no current NRL player was alive for a Parramatta premiership' is flipped on Sunday night.