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Butcher proves he's one tough Rooster by pushing on with broken rib

It's a testament to Nat Butcher's toughness that he casually deemed playing with a broken rib for a month "just something you do" in the NRL.

The promising Roosters forward suffered the damage against Melbourne in round 15 and needed painkilling injections to soldier through the following three matches.

After being rested for one week, the 22-year-old returned via the interchange in last Sunday's crushing 58-6 win over the Titans, tallying 98 run metres and 31 tackles during an effective 38 minutes.

"The week off really did help, getting that time just to let it heal because that's the only way a rib injury can," Butcher told NRL.com.

"It was great. I had a really good week at training, pulling up really well, and then it was all good in the game."

Not only did Butcher push on despite his broken rib, he maintained an insatiable workload.

He went the distance in the second row against Wests Tigers and the Cowboys before punching out 51 minutes versus Newcastle, tackling anything that moved and surpassing 100 metres in each game.

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"It wasn't too bad. I got injected but it felt alright," he said of the injury. "It's just something you do and there are no excuses on the field."

Long touted as a future star due to his junior exploits, Butcher has become a consistent fixture in the NRL side after building momentum last year.

He featured alongside Latrell Mitchell, Joey Manu, Victor Radley, Poasa Faamausili and Sitili Tupouniua in the Tricolours' 2016 NYC premiership team and said it's no surprise to see the young crop flourishing at the top level given the connections they formed in the under-age ranks.

"A lot of us have come through the 20s and even some of the boys came through the SG Ball [under 18s] at the club," Butcher said.

"It's great. We've been working on those combinations for a number of years now and when we haven't been playing first grade we've been playing reserves together.

"It's a great culture at the club and it's a great vibe at the moment."

The Roosters have lost key men to injuries and suspensions during the season, allowing inexperienced players to fill in, and Butcher believes that depth could prove invaluable in the finals.

"It's important to develop that whole squad because stuff like that does happen. Everyone that's stepped up has done a great job," he said.

"We had a great pre-season this year, everyone knows their roles and when they've been called upon they've executed more than they've been asked to."

Comfortable in the middle or on the edge, Butcher doesn't mind playing from the bench and slotting in anywhere he's required.

He mentioned versatile Roosters veteran Mitchell Aubusson as a source of inspiration.

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"He's a great player and a club legend. If I could play the way that Aubo plays week in, week out, then I guess it's a good path to be on," Butcher said.

"I'm just enjoying my role, wherever that may be week to week."

The Roosters produced arguably their most complete performance this year against Gold Coast at the SCG but Butcher admitted conceding a lone try upset the premiers.

"We spoke about going after a zero and how that was big for us," he said.

"That was a bit disappointing but we felt the rest of our game was solid and our defence is something we're going to have to bring down to Canberra this week."