Up-and-coming Roosters hooker Victor Radley doesn't see himself as a replacement for senior rake Jake Friend, despite some fans calling for the 20-year-old to assume dummy-half duties late in the 26-14 loss to old rivals South Sydney on Thursday night.
The 20-year-old has had an impressive start to 2018 after debuting late last year - a season in which he represented NSW in under 20s and the Junior Kangaroos, and was named in the NYC team of the year.
He has been so impressive, some Roosters fans were chanting his name late in Thursday's loss following a below-par performance at dummy-half from Friend.
Speaking on Friday morning about the loss, Radley praised Friend's influence in helping develop his game and stated a desire to spend more time in the back-row rotation rather than playing primarily as a bench hooker behind Friend.
"Jake's great, he's helped me so much to get where I am today, hopefully I can keep learning off him," Radley said.
"Long-term I'd like to [play] back row, but just at the moment with my size I’d like to be a hooker. I’m not really fussed at the moment but in a couple years, I’d like to be back row or lock."
The Roosters missed their chance to rack up a century of wins over the Rabbitohs and Radley, a Clovelly Crocodiles junior, knows all too well about the long-standing rivalry between the clubs.
Match: Roosters v Rabbitohs
Round 6 -
Venue: Allianz Stadium
- Nine Network
- LIVE PASS
"Even though we were on the back foot, we did well just to keep it there (at 8-all at halftime)," Radley said.
"My thoughts were I just had to make my tackles and to execute my passing, and hopefully stay in the grind there, have a chat at halftime and go back out and start over.
"It’s hard, it hurts, especially against Souths. I mean I'm still a fan myself from back when they used to play, I loved watching those games. It does hurt to lose against them."
So, what did Radley make of the online banter from South Sydney's social media department claiming the Roosters fail to recruit young local talent?
"Roosters have done well to get the young juniors that they've had coming up through the system. I went through the system pretty well I thought. I played Harold, under 13s, coming up I enjoyed it. Got to play every year wearing the Roosters jersey," Radley said.