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Team in need but I'm not Friend indeed, says Radley

Victor Radley knows he's no Jake Friend. But for as long as the Roosters need him at hooker the Clovelly Crocodiles junior is going to try to do his best impression regardless.

"I feel like I can get the job done there but I also feel like I've got a lot of work ahead to feel natural there," he said.

Friend injured his left shoulder against Parramatta in round three and is a doubtful starter for the Broncos blockbuster on Thursday at the SCG, despite the club announcing on Monday he'd been cleared of "serious injury".

Radley played 80 minutes in the round-two win over Manly, when Friend withdrew with a knock to the same shoulder. He also played 40 minutes in the win over the Eels when Friend went to the sidelines.

But when it comes to replicating what Friend does – averaging more than 40 tackles a game with a 95% efficiency and passing the ball onto the chest of teammates 90 times a game – Radley is first to dampen those expectations.

"I'm not going to replicate how Jake plays," he said.

"I'm not going to be able to do that, as simple as that. He's the captain of our side and when you watch the video, the amount of work he does in defence and in attack, he rarely puts a ball wrong in his passing.

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"I'm not going to replicate what he does but I'll play the way I play which hopefully is getting the ball out in front of everyone. In 'D' he makes about 60 tackles – he just works so hard.

"I say to him 'How do you make 60 tackles mate?' He doesn't shy away from the work. He just puts himself towards the ball every single time. He is a beast."

But Radley is no stranger to the No.9 jersey. He played there in his handful of NRL games in his rookie year of 2017.

"I’m confident in Rads," said fullback James Tedesco.

"Whenever he plays in there he does a great job. I don’t know what his best position is but whenever he’s in at hooker he does a great job for us.

"Friendy is a big loss whenever, but we don’t lose much with Rads coming in."

If Radley is named at hooker on Tuesday he will line up against Broncos and Maroons rake Andrew McCullough.

That sounds like a fairly daunting task but 21-year-old is more concerned about both Cooper Cronk and Luke Keary calling for the ball at the same time.

"I'd throw it to Keary because have you watched the last two weeks? He's a freak," Radley said.

While Radley has been filling in for Friend, Keary has been switched from five-eighth to halfback to cover for the former Test No.7.

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