Ahead of this weekend’s World Club Series, TotalRL.com are putting each of the three NRL sides under the spotlight in an attempt to give fans the ultimate brief on what to expect from each of the three sides.
First up, it’s St Helens’ opponents for Friday night – Sydney Roosters. World champions two years ago, the Roosters are making their first appearance in the World Club Series having missed out last year. But what do you need to know about the men from the Roosters?
Unlike some NRL sides, the coach of the Roosters will be incredibly familiar to Super League fans: former Catalans coach Trent Robinson. He coached the Dragons in 2011 and 2012, before opting to head back home, taking on the Roosters job in 2013. He has built an impressive side at Sydney since his tenure began, and will look to lay a marker down on Friday on his return to St Helens.
With Mitchell Pearce suspended for his off the field misdemeanours, the captaincy of Sydney Roosters has fallen into the hands of Jake Friend. The 26-year-old hooker has spent his entire career with the Roosters, and will be a lively figure for them out of dummy-half – especially with the Saints being without influential hooker James Roby.
The Roosters have two men in particular who will be familiar to Super League fans, given how they were playing in the competition just a few months ago. Joe Burgess will likely receive a hostile reception from St Helens fans, given how the former Wigan winger is making his debut for the club at Langtree Park. Meanwhile, former Bradford and Catalans hooker Ian Henderson will also play on Friday having signed from Catalans.
The Young Talent
With Pearce suspended, Sydney Roosters’ halves will be made up of two exciting young talents. England fans will remember Kodi Nikorima from last year’s Test series against New Zealand, and his younger brother will comprise one half of the pairing that takes to the field on Friday. 19-year-old Jayden Nikorima and 20-year-old Jackson Hastings are the two men entrusted in guiding the Roosters around the park by Robinson – both of whom are incredibly highly thought of.