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Bulldogs playmaker Kyle Flanagan.

Canterbury coach Trent Barrett expects Kyle Flanagan not to get caught up in the emotion of taking on his former side the Roosters on Saturday night for the first time since he left the club.

Flanagan's exit at Bondi last year left the Bulldogs playmaker "shocked and disappointed" after he was shown the door by coach Trent Robinson less than 12 months into a two-year deal.

His departure was met with further comments by the 22-year-old in January when he told Channel Nine in an interview he was left feeling quite empty by the abrupt departure.

"I thought I was tracking quite well for my first season in first grade, but they don't have time for that obviously," he said.

Bulldogs v Roosters - Round 17

"It was definitely a shock. I sat down and expected to hear feedback for what I had to do for next season and it caught me off guard.

"It was a tough conversation. I was quite empty. I put my heart and soul into the season last year."

Flanagan has endured a rollercoaster season at the Bulldogs six months after he was unveiled as one of the club's biggest signings in recent history.

He was dropped by Bulldogs coach Trent Barrett in round 10 following the side's 32-12 loss to St George Illawarra and was only recalled to the team last week because of players breaching biosecurity protocols. 

His return was hardly an encouraging one with the playmaker forced to play on the left edge and unable to create anything in the side's 66-0 thrashing by Manly.

The Roosters had their own point-scoring woes last week, pummelled by the Storm 46-0 in Newcastle.

The playmakers set to take charge in State of Origin III

Robinson said on Thursday he could imagine Flanagan would want to prove a point against his old side but didn't push the topic any further.

"I don't know, I could imagine so. I could imagine there was a bit of hurt there and I understand that," Robinson said.

"But whether it's us or them, we're trying to improve the footy we're playing. The motivation is quite clear on either side's team at the moment."

Barrett had a chance to recall Brandon Wakeham for the clash but opted to stick with Flanagan.

He said Flanagan's mind was on the job, and not the opposition.

"He's trained really well this week. Last week we didn't have a lot of football to do much with it," Barrett said.

"He's an important part of the side. Jake Averillo has been doing a good job at halfback and been a good run threat for us.

"I didn't want to disrupt things too much for us. Obviously it wasn't a pretty review on Monday. They were really disappointed with how it panned out [last week].

"They've had a good week and trained really well today so I'm looking forward to [watching] them go round."

The Sea Eagles were ruthless exploiting Canterbury's inexperienced edges with the Roosters to likely target the side with a similar game plan.

"We'll rectify that, it's the first time it's happened all year," Barrett said.

"There are a few technical things. The biggest thing for us is we need to move on from it. We need to get back on the horse and we need to play well this weekend.

"Regardless of the outcome, we expect a good performance."

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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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