Dan Walsh, Staff Writer, NRL.com
It's been a busy day down at Roosters HQ, with the club securing vice-captain Jake Friend through to 2018 and shuffling the red, white and blue cards aplenty before the June 30 mid-season transfer deadline closes.
The Roosters halves and backline stocks have been boosted by the respective signings of Scott Dureau, from French Super League club Catalans Dragons, and Nathan Stapleton from the Sharks, with both players joining the club effective immediately.
Dureau joins the club on loan for the remainder of 2014, and returns to the NRL after being named halfback in the 2012 Super League Dream Team, joining the Roosters as a back-up half following the departure of utility Daniel Mortimer to the Titans earlier this month.
Dureau first debuted for the Knights back in 2007, playing 42 games across four years before joining Catalans in 2011.
Stapleton meanwhile also joins the Tri-Colours and will be available for selection when the Roosters clash with the Sharks this Saturday night at Allianz Stadium. The 24-year-old has played 61 games since making his debut in 2009, and earlier this year scored four tries in the Sharks 37-0 drubbing of the Warriors in Round 5 but has spent the majority of the year plying his trade in NSW Cup.
Stapleton joins the club following the departure of the highly rated Tautau Moga, who joined the Cowboys until the end of the 2016 season earlier today.
The Roosters are understood to have been keen to retain the former Australian Schoolboys representative who has been compared to Sonny Bill Williams in the past, but the 20-year-old will instead join the Cowboys as cover for veteran centre Brent Tate, whose playing future hangs in the balance after suffering a season-ending knee injury in Origin II.
Meanwhile Roosters Chief Operating Officer Football Brian Canavan said he was also pleased to have Friend locked in to the club’s long-term plans.
“It’s a wonderful coup for the Roosters to have Jake secured in a long-term agreement with our club,” said Canavan.
Friend added: “The team, coaches and everyone involved at the Roosters mean the world to me and I couldn’t see myself playing anywhere else... The club has always supported me and I’m so proud that I’ll continue to be a part of this team and represent the Roosters.”