Roosters coach Trent Robinson says he only has 19 players inside the club’s top squad fit for their clash against the Warriors on Sunday, forcing the club to ask for exemptions from the NRL just to fill team list requirements.
After a brutal round in which several teams suffered horror injury tolls, Robinson has barely been left with enough healthy players for their round four clash at the SCG.
Teenage phenomenon Sam Walker is certain to make his debut for the Tricolours while 17-year-old Joseph Suaalii, who was only recently granted dispensation by the NRL to make his debut before his 18th birthday, will be named in Robinson’s extended squad.
The NRL requires all clubs to name 21 players on Tuesday afternoon for their upcoming match.
But after Luke Keary (ACL), Lachlan Lam (knee) and Lindsay Collins (concussion) all failed to finish their loss to arch rivals South Sydney, the Roosters will need to consult the NRL about naming players outside their top 28 contracted players, a list which has been decimated by injury and suspension.
Victor Radley is poised to make his return from a long-term knee injury and minor shoulder problem, but Boyd Cordner, Jake Friend, Sam Verrills, Adam Keighran and Billy Smith are still not available. Forward Daniel Suluka-Fifita will also miss the Warriors clash through suspension.
‘We have a few injuries there that we didn’t want to happen, but they have. We are down to a really good team that we will put on the park.’
“I will need an exemption to name 21,” Robinson said on Monday at the launch of a fundraising appeal for former Rooster Mose Masoe. “To name a guy you need to prove they are outside your group, but they don’t have to be inside your top 30 to play that position.
“We have a few injuries there that we didn’t want to happen, but they have. This is not unique. There were a few [injuries] over the weekend.”