Here is all you need to know about the Sydney Roosters ahead of the 2022 Telstra Premiership season.
Put Luke Keary and Lindsay Collins back into a side that showed incredible resolve to make it to week two of the finals and you’ve got a bona fide contender. The Morris boys had magnificent careers and will be missed but watch for the next generation to come to the fore, with Joseph Suaalii ready to blossom.
Possible best 17
1. James Tedesco, 2. Daniel Tupou, 3. Joey Manu, 4. Paul Momirovski, 5. Joseph Suaalii, 6. Luke Keary, 7. Sam Walker, 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, 9. Sam Verrills,10. Lindsay Collins, 11. Sitili Tupouniua, 12. Angus Crichton, 13. Victor Radley, 14. Connor Watson, 15. Egan Butcher, 16. Siosiua Taukeiaho, 17. Renouf Atoni.
The versatile Connor Watson returns to where it all began in 2016 and he’ll give Trent Robinson real X-factor off the bench or he can slot in at No.13 if required. Another quality player who launched his career at the Roosters, Paul Momirovski, is also back in red, white and blue after stints at Wests Tigers, Melbourne and Penrith. Momirosvki’s game improved out of sight in 2021 as he helped the Panthers to the premiership and at 25 he is ready to develop into one of the game’s elite centres under Robinson.
Our leaders really stood up through adversity: Keary
Joey Manu was sorely missed in the finals but his smashed cheekbone will be good to go by round one against the Knights. Big guns Keary and Collins return from long-term knee injuries but the Roosters will be without Sam Verrills for the season opener due to suspension. So dire was the injury situation late in the season that the Roosters signed veteran Dale Copley on a short-term deal in August and were forced to blood a number of rookies ahead of their time so they’ll be hoping for a change of fortune in 2022.
Biggest question mark
Will Sam Walker suffer a case of the second-year blues? The 19-year-old produced 19 try assists and 22 line break assists in a remarkable debut season but he can expect a whole lot more attention as rivals work out his game and look to work him over even more than they did in 2021. Walker will look to add some bulk to his 78kg frame in the off-season to deal with the rigours of a long year but as he showed in his first year he has a high pain threshold and is never shy to take the ball right to the line.
The Roosters host the Knights to start their season before taking a home game against Manly to Gosford, taking on Souths at Stadium Australia then flying to Townsville in round four. There are no easy games to start and two of those are serious challenges.
Trent Robinson will know what sort of team he's got by the end of the Origin period. From the time the Roosters take on the Eels in round 10 (with a return bout in round 15) plus the Panthers twice in rounds 11 and 16, plus the Storm in round 14 and a trip to Canberra minus their Origin starts in round 13, the seven games from round 10 present a true test.
Make it count
Things loosen up a bit coming out of Origin. They only have two top-eight opponents in six rounds, with four home games, with the Dragons, Knights, Sea Eagles, Broncos, Cowboys and Tigers handing the Roosters a golden chance to bank some wins ahead of a tricky final fortnight before the finals.
NRL Fantasy: Roosters 2022 prices
Angus Crichton: MID/EDG, $757,000
Luke Keary: HLF, $750,000
James Tedesco: WFB, $695,000
Connor Watson: HOK/MID, $647,000
Lindsay Collins: MID, $641,000
Joseph Manu: CTR/WFB, $590,000
Siosiua Taukeiaho: MID, $570,000
Victor Radley: MID, $563,000
Drew Hutchison: HLF, $544,000
Sitili Tupouniua: EDG, $535,000
Nat Butcher: MID/EDG, $535,000
Jared Waerea-Hargreaves: MID, $519,000
Sam Verrills: HOK, $492,000
Sam Walker: HLF, $476,000
Paul Momirovski: CTR, $466,000
Daniel Tupou: WFB, $465,000
Renouf Atoni: MID, $458,000
Egan Butcher: EDG, $406,000
Kevin Naiqama: WFB, $365,000
Adam Keighran: HLF/CTR, $361,000
Lachlan Lam: HLF, $354,000
Joseph Suaalii: WFB/CTR, $350,000
Freddy Lussick: HOK, $300,000
Billy Smith: CTR, $300,000
Fletcher Baker: EDG, $240,000
Daniel Suluka-Fifita: MID, $240,000
Ben Thomas: MID, $240,000
Naufahu Whyte: EDG, $240,000
Moala Graham-Taufa: WFB, $240,000