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Robinson won't restrain returning hitman Radley

Roosters coach Trent Robinson won't stop Victor Radley from being his combative self when he returns from an ACL injury off the bench against the Rabbitohs.

A traditionally fiery and intense clash looms on Friday night, but Robinson has no doubt the forward is "ready" after eight months out including a recent two-match ban for an off-field incident.

Tricolours fullback James Tedesco, seemingly jokingly, said on Sunday that it would be "dangerous" if his close mate Radley was let loose at Stadium Australia considering one of the game's sub-plots.

It will mark the first time Tedesco has faced Rabbitohs recruit Jai Arrow since the Maroons enforcer lifted the dazed Blues star off the ground and dropped him in November's State of Origin decider.

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Arrow declared he wasn't a "grubby player" at the time and Tedesco has insisted there's "no bad blood", but Robinson isn't about to tell renowned hitman Radley to tone down his aggression.

"I think there are thousands and thousands of fans that don't want me to say anything," Robinson said on Wednesday.

"That's why we're in the entertainment business; they want to be able to watch that [confrontation] happen.

"That's what we're here for and that's not up to me to dampen that spirit that we want players to play with.

"[Radley] is excited. We've missed him. It's good to have him back. He brings a love for the game and a style of play that we like.

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"He's been training hard for a long time and doing as much or more than anybody else ... He's been ready for a bit to play, but the suspension was there and now he's ready to go."

He added that Tedesco hadn't brought up the Arrow incident.

"I don't know what he's thinking about that, [but] the players care about Teddy and it shouldn't have happened," Robinson said.

"So we'll see what motivation that brings on Friday."

Robinson said Radley is unlikely to spend any time at dummy-half to ease the strain on Freddy Lussick with Jake Friend out.

Friend, 31, was concussed against Manly in the opening round, and while he's in good spirits, a return to play remains unclear.

The No.9 has dealt with several head knocks in his career.

"Jake's back training with weights and running and doing all that," Robinson said.

"He's feeling normal – he did not long after – but there's obviously a history that we've got to go over to make sure we get it right."

Friend will see another specialist before sitting down with Robinson and club staff "most likely at the end of this week or the beginning of next week to nut out the process and what we're going to do".

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"If you care about your players, then every case is individual," Robinson said.

"We want to win and we want to continue to win. That's without question. But for Tom [Longworth - club doctor] or myself or the club, if this was our son, what would we want to happen?

"You can absolutely win but [if you] balance out what you should do for someone that you care about, then you'll find the right answer."

Tedesco will be pitted against former teammate Latrell Mitchell in an intriguing match-up of two elite custodians.

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Robinson doesn't expect Tedesco to make it a personal battle, but having coached Mitchell to two premierships, he believes the ex-centre will want to make a statement.

"Every player wants to lift against their old club. I think that's natural, that's human to want that," the mentor said.

"I don't think there's any difference knowing Trell and where he sits. I know how he'll want to play as well.

"There was a lot of discussion last year when people didn't back him to play well; I think I said I'd seen him play a lot of fullback – he played fullback here [as a junior] – so we know he's done a lot here

"He's a legend of our club and now he's at Souths and playing in their role. We care about him here for who he is and what he's done, but he's no longer in these colours."

 

NRL Magic Round Brisbane 1-Day Passes are now on sale with eight massive games across round 10 at Suncorp Stadium this May. With the league's best players all heading to Brisbane, you'd hate to miss it! Tickets at NRL.com/Tickets

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