Roosters' Friend ruled out of Souths clash
Sydney Roosters will be without inspirational co-captain and hooker Jake Friend for their Round 4 NRL Telstra Premiership clash with South Sydney at ANZ Stadium on Thursday night.
Friend has been omitted from the Roosters' 21-man squad with Connor Watson moving to hooker and reserve forward Paul Carter coming onto the interchange bench.
Roosters coach Trent Robinson did not want to risk playing Friend on a five-day turnaround after he copped a knock to the face late in the 14-12 win over the Panthers on Saturday night.
Friend's injury is not serious and he is expected to be back for the Roosters' Round 5 clash with the Sea Eagles at Allianz Stadium.
Roosters centre Blake Ferguson, who was named only as a reserve on Tuesday afternoon as he nurses a rib injury, has also been omitted from the squad. Chris Smith and Mitchell Cornish are the two remaining reserves.
For the Rabbitohs, David Tyrrell and Cameron Murray drop out of the 21 with several changes already made to an injury and suspension hit squad.
With George Burgess, Hymel Hunt and Braidon Burns all suspended, Cody Walker moves to fullback, with Alex Johnston on the wing and Siosifa Talakai returning at centre. Tom Burgess has been named to start at prop, Angus Crichton starts in the back row with John Sutton now at five-eighth, and Anthony Cherrington joins the interchange.