Cordner backed for Origin return
Roosters coach Trent Robinson is in no doubt that Kangaroos second-rower Boyd Cordner is ready for a return to the Origin cauldron after a strong performance in his side's 24-16 loss to Manly at Brookvale on Friday night.
Cordner was initially thought to have been ruled out of the entire 2014 Series when he suffered a syndesmosis injury against the Cowboys in Round 10.
But his return slightly earlier than expected for the Round 16 clash gave Cordner one chance to impress Blues coach Laurie Daley ahead of Tuesday's team announcement.
With incumbent Blues back-rower Anthony Watmough ruled out through suspension Cordner may well be seen as a like-for-like replacement over impact bench player, Canterbury's Tony Williams, who played in Game One of the Series.
The other likely candidates are a pair of rookies; Canterbury's Josh Jackson was brought into the Blues camp ahead of Game One while Cronulla's Wade Graham was involved ahead of Game Two.
Daley has said throughout the year he would be reluctant to gamble on rookies in big games, but with the Series already decided he may yet decide to give one of the younger players a run.
However with St George Illawarra lock Trent Merrin also battling an ankle injury, there may be more than one spot to fill.
Cordner was impressive in his side's loss on Friday night, bursting over for a try next to the posts with just his second touch of the match after joining the fray just before the half hour mark while racking up 66 metres from seven runs as well as 29 tackles.
"I think he proved [he's ready] tonight," Robinson said after the game.
"I thought after the layoff he got back in – great execution of a play [for his try]; he worked really hard. He had a really strong game tonight."
Robinson said Cordner had played around 55 minutes and did well for someone that was unable to train properly for six weeks with an ankle injury.
"Sometimes when you've got shoulder injuries you can run, but not being able to run with an ankle injury – credit to the staff and to him to get back like that."