Napa sizing up for starting recall with JWH sidelined
Dylan Napa is set to be recalled into the starting line-up for Sunday afternoon's clash with the Raiders in Canberra with Roosters teammate Jared Waerea-Hargreaves set for at least a month on the sidelines.
The Maroons prop has been eased back into the squad after missing five weeks with a knee injury.
He returned in the Roosters' 26-20 win over the Cowboys in round 21 but has only managed 25 and 26 minutes respectively over the past fortnight with the club cautious with his game time leading into the Telstra Premiership finals.
"I don't take it to heart when I'm not starting," Napa told NRL.com.
"If we're winning and the rotation is good there is no point changing it and I understand that. I use the time I've got whether it be the start, middle or end.
"The coaching and medical staff haven't rushed me back which was the most important thing."
Napa missed the final Holden State of Origin clash as he battled a medial ligament strain.
The 25-year-old knows the feeling of trying to get himself match fit before a major clash – with Waerea-Hargreaves set for a similar journey leading into the finals with a broken rib.
"I'm still disappointed that I missed Origin III," Napa said.
"I used that time to freshen up the body and concentrate for the important games at the end of the year. I've been itching to get out there the last couple of months and try to help this team out."
Napa has endured a rollercoaster season with his tackling technique questioned earlier in the year.
He was a man on a mission against a dominant South Sydney pack over the weekend and said he was confident he could get better.
"I've had those discussions my whole career," Napa said, in reference to controlled aggression.
"There's a few good things in my game but a lot of mediocre things I did [against the Rabbitohs].
"Sometimes they pull off and sometimes it doesn't. I go back to the coaches and review what's going on and where I need to be.
"Robbo and Craig Fitzgibbon work hard with my game and individually on each player so we can be the best when we all come together."
This week the Roosters face a Raiders outfit that has suffered a month of misery with their finals hopes over, but have beaten the Tricolours in their last two meetings.
"If you start thinking there is nothing to improve on you're on the wrong path," Napa said.
"We've got a month to sort everything out. I've got a hell of a lot of work to do to be back playing where I want to be."