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Tupou tipped for Roosters return

The Roosters are set to be at full-strength for their qualifying final against the Broncos on Friday night with Daniel Tupou tipped to return from a groin injury on the left wing. 

‌Tupou hasn't played since Round 22 when he suffered the injury while making a break against the Sea Eagles and would be a huge inclusion for a Roosters side that has been humming along nicely all season long.

The former NSW Blues winger has played some of his best footy in 2017, averaging close to 150 metres per game while he's also crossed for 11 tries in 19 games.   

Tupou has been named on an extended bench but is expected to line up on Friday night in place of youngster Joseph Manu whose freakish offload sparked a much-needed comeback against the Titans last week. 

"I think he's got another running session today and I think if he pulls up sweet from that then he'll be ready to go," teammate Blake Ferguson said on Wednesday morning. 

"'Toops' is an outstanding player and everyone loves playing with him. He does a lot of work for us in the backfield and he's just another big body."

Having Tupou in the side wouldn't just help the Tricolours with their yardage coming out of trouble but he'd also provide an aerial threat that Brisbane would be at long odds to contain. 

While wingers Corey Oates and Jordan Kahu are no slouches in the air, the real danger lies in the midfield with the Broncos forced to name the diminutive Kodi Nikorima at fullback after skipper Darius Boyd went down with a hamstring injury against the Cowboys last week. 

Boyd's injury is the latest setback for a Broncos spine that has been ravaged in 2017 and means five-eighth Anthony Milford will be the only member of their first-choice quartet to line up in his preferred position. 

Despite the reshuffle, Roosters co-captain Boyd Cordner won't be taking the opposition lightly.   

"Having Darius Boyd out, he's a world-class player and he's hard to replace, but I think Kodi Nikorima - if he does play fullback - he'll stand up. You saw on the weekend how good he is and he can fill in any position. He's dangerous with the ball so I'm sure he'll do the job just fine," he said. 

"If you've seen the blokes that have stepped into their spots, they've probably been their best players. I don't think they've lost much when you talk about their spine. They've got a lot of classy players and some rep players in those positions. 

"Whatever they decide to do, they'll be tough and we're expecting a really tough battle here on Friday."


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