Boyd Cordner will be the lone Rooster to represent Australia in the test against New Zealand this Friday at Allianz Stadium, while Sam Moa, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck will step up for the Kiwis.
Michael Jennings may have been a chance for Josh Morris’ spot but wouldn’t have played because of an ankle injury sustained against the Dragons on Friday, which may have him out for the Roosters’ next game versus the Tigers.
Shaun Kenny-Dowall, who has been in sensational form, has been overlooked for the Kiwis in favour of Peta Hiku, Dean Whare and Gerard Beale, while Jared Waerea-Hargreaves has also missed selection after a slow start to the year, losing his spot in the squad to the likes of Kenny Bromwich and Marty Taupau.
Meanwhile, Sonny Bill Williams was reportedly not considered with coach Steve Kearney claiming the Kiwis are working towards the next world cup and Frank Paul Nuuasala also missed selection.
The selection of Cordner is just reward for an excellent season for the Roosters. He’s averaging 103.6 metres off 12.4 runs a match along with nearly 30 tackles a match. He’s also scored four tries with five line breaks.
Moa has been the Roosters’ best prop this year, often overshadowing his more celebrated front row partner. He’s averaging 10.9 runs and 93.8 metres, and crossed for three tries.
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck has been a beast for the Roosters splitting time between fullback and wing, running it for 136.5 metres a match of 16.1 runs, while breaking 3.38 tackles a match.
But according to a tweet from Todd Balym of the Courier Mail who spoke to Kearney, Roger could be used at an unfamiliar position:
So… yeah. It sounds ridiculous considering he’s a part-time fullback, but with Kieran Foran injured Kearney is somewhat out of options and RTS has been playing up in the line as a ball-player a lot more recently, and threw the final ball for Boyd Cordner’s try against the Sharks last week. He does have the skills… in attack at least.
Defensively, he’ll be an instant target. he and Mini have missed the most tackles per attempt at the Roosters, and they have the sideline as an extra defender:
Will he be able to make the extra 15-25 tackles he’ll face against Greg Bird and old pal Boyd Cordner? And what will he have left in the tank, considering he averages just 3.51 tackle attempts a game at present?
There’s probably a reason Kearney doesn’t have a job in the NRL at the moment — and this move sounds awfully Sheens-ish.
Billy Slater, Darius Boyd, Greg Inglis, Josh Morris, Brett Morris, Jonathan Thurston, Cooper Cronk, Matt Scott, Cameron Smith (C), James Tamou, Greg Bird, Sam Thaiday, Paul Gallen. Interchange: Daly Cherry-Evans, Boyd Cordner, Nate Myles, Corey Parker. 18th man: Matt Gillett.
New Zealand Squad
Gerard Beale, Adam Blair, Jesse Bromwich, Kenny Bromwich, Greg Eastwood, Tohu Harris, Siliva Havili, Ben Henry, Peta Hiku, Isaac John, Shaun Johnson, Simon Mannering, Sam Moa, Jason Nightingale, Kevin Proctor, Marty Taupau, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Dean Whare.