Jared Waerea-Hargreaves returns from his five-match suspension against the team he was suspended against and has been elevated straight to the starting squad. This is going to be great.
Marty Kennedy has been ruled out for up to 12 weeks due to the injury he sustained against the Bulldogs in the last two minutes of that match. The NSW Blues contingent of James Maloney, Mitchell Pearce and Michael Jennings have been named as well, naturally. Isaac Liu is 18th man.
Barring MK10’s injury, this is a full-strength squad. The Roosters remain the best defensive team in the league by the tiniest of margins over their Monday night counterparts, having conceded an average of just 13.2 points a game compared to the Sea Eagles’ 13.7.
Roosters team for Round 16: Anthony Minichiello (C) ,Daniel Tupou, Michael Jennings, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, James Maloney, Mitchell Pearce, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Jake Friend, Luke O’Donnell, Sonny Bill Williams, Mitch Aubusson, Boyd Cordner. Interchange: (From) Daniel Mortimer, Frank-Paul Nu’uasala, Aidan Guerra, Sam Moa, Isaac Liu.
Brett Stewart remains out of this game with a fractured back, with young utility back Peta Hiku regaining his place in the top squad.
The Sea Eagles are coming off the bye, but just prior to that were beaten in Golden Point by the Dogs when Josh Reynolds spear-tackled himself in a new low for the game. They’ve lost two straight but remain in the top four by a solitary point, having used up their two byes. The fifth-placed Gold Coast have more wins than the 7-1-5 Eagles.
Sea Eagles team for Round 16: Peta Hiku, Jorge Taufua, Jamie Lyon (C), Steve Matai, David Williams, Kieran Foran, Daly Cherry-Evans, Brenton Lawrence, Matt Ballin, Brent Kite, Anthony Watmough, Justin Horo, Glenn Stewart. Interchange: Jamie Buhrer, Tom Symonds, James Hasson, George Rose.