UPDATED: There have been a couple of journalists referring to rumours that Big Red himself, Dylan Napa, is expected to make his long-awaited debut this week.
According to Erin Molan on the Footy Show last night, Napa “could” make the squad after being named 18th man for the week, while Tyson Otto of News Limited claimed this today:
Dylan Napa is a chance to make his debut for the Roosters tomorrow. The club is light-on in the front row and he could be used to replace either Luke O’Donnell or Aidan Guerra. The Storm are expected to be 1-17. Slade Griffin will travel as 18th man, but is unlikely to play.
According to fellow Twitterer @chandler_BANG O’Donnell is dealing with a head knock — one can only assume this was caused from running into Tamou’s chin.
But if he’s cleared to play, dropping Luke O’Donnell makes no sense considering the performance he put in last week (15 runs, 128 metres, one headbutt) while Guerra looked dangerous from limited runs (38 minutes, six runs for 64 metres, two tackle busts).
They may also look for Napa to replace Lama Tasi, who was given just 19 minutes of playing time against the Cowboys.
The debut of the massive redhead has been a long time coming following three weeks as 18th man this year. Fans have calling for the 194cm, 109kg behemoth to get a run.
If he does make his debut this week he’s lining up against the defending premiers — no easy feat.
The Roosters have typically had three front-rowers this year, and with JWH and Sam Moa out perhaps they’re looking to get back to that rotation this week against the likes of Jesse Bromwich, Jason Ryles and Brian Norrie after going to war with just two traditional props last week in Kennedy and Tasi.
If he plays and they keep Tasi, he’ll give them a three-pronged answer in the front row department with Marty Kennedy.