Liu shocked by re-signing revelation
Roosters forward Isaac Liu couldn't believe his eyes upon re-signing with the Tricolours for a further two years on Monday.
It wasn't the well-deserved contract which shocked him – that had been something he'd chipped away at over the opening six weeks of the season.
Rather it was the fact he had already racked up 70 first grade games since his 2013 NRL debut.
While Liu has flown under the radar for the best part of his career, his contract extension goes to show the high regard Roosters coach Trent Robinson holds the 24-year-old in.
"When I read the story about the re-signing on the club website I was like 'oh wow'. I couldn't believe and didn't really realise that I had played that many games already," Liu told NRL.com.
"It's really great to see that I have come that far so I'm happy with that."
"It means a lot to re-sign. I love this club and I'm happy and pleased to continue building my football career here and be the best that I can," Liu added.
"[Contracts] are one of those things which players want to get out of the way and done before the season starts. It didn't really play on my mind in the earlier rounds but I knew I had to work hard to actually earn it and feel good about it."
It was confirmed on Tuesday that teammate Sio Siua Taukeiaho would at least miss the next month due to a medial ligament injury after injuring it in the Roosters' maiden season victory against South Sydney last week.
Taukeiaho's injury couldn't have come at a worse time for the Roosters' forward pack with Boyd Cordner (pectoral) and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (ACL) still yet to feature in 2016.
Liu is expected to be named in the No. 13 jumper to play the Panthers this Monday night.
"We'll have to put plenty of more minutes in because it's sad to lose Sio Siua. We have others who can do the job in his place for sure but to lose Siua, he's been working really hard and playing really well so he's a massive loss for us," Liu said.
"[Without the likes of Waerea-Hargreaves though] it has given us time to build to a point that when all these guys come back we'll be able to gel with them and combine to be a strong forward pack.
"It has been tough the first few weeks but we have worked really hard and it's finally showed. The win really showed that when you put in and connect with one another you get the results."
A member of the New Zealand squad that toured England late last year Liu wasn't stressing over earning a potential Kiwis debut in a month's time against the Kangaroos.
"I just want to really focus on my game and do my part for the Roosters and get us back on track," he said.
"That tour was a really good experience though. For me it was about getting to know some of the Kiwi boys and gelling with them so that if the time ever comes for me to make my debut I'll be ready."