It looks as though the Roosters will be short of back rowers for the Origin period.
Aiden Guerra, the Roosters’ starting lock, has been named on the bench for the Queenslanders and will definitely debut, meaning he will miss at least the Roosters next game versus the Bulldogs.
It’s sweet news for Aidan, but with it comes the sour: it’s been reported by Channel 9 (via 26 Rounds’ ears on the ground i.e. near the TV, Elyse — @ElyseVW) that Boyd Cordner will miss seven weeks after suffering a high ankle sprain, and 12 if he requires surgery.
If you recall, Boyd suffered a high ankle sprain last year and was out from round 22 until the eve of the Grand Final, when he sensationally came back much earlier than expected to start at lock for the Chooks. If he needs the full 12 weeks to recover, his next game will be, strangely, in round 22 versus the Titans.
Continuing the theme, Boyd turns 22 this year. So fuck the number 22.
It’s a cruel piece of news for the in-form right-side second rower, who had finally shaken the niggling injuries and was set to start for the Blues with Greg Bird suspended.
His injury means the Roosters’ vaunted depth will be severely tested. More will be known tomorrow when the teams are named, but the Roosters will likely start with a back row of Sonny Bill Williams, Mitch Aubusson and Frank-Paul Nuuasala, with Dylan Napa a possibility to become the backrower off the bench.
It may also provide an opportunity for Samisoni Langi to show his wares off the bench. The Jets five-eighth has the size to excel as a lock and can fill in at the halves and also at centre if required — although the latter is not recommended after he was exposed defensively in two starts there last year.
Trent Robinson may also be tempted to give Rhyse Martin a run. The burly backrower impressed in the Nines and looks a physical runner of the ball.
The Roosters are also likely to be missing Michael Jennings to Origin, with either Aubusson or even Tautau Moga expected to take his place — assuming of course he is named. Daniel Tupou remains a good chance of being named, with Jonathan Reuben and Nene Macdonald contenders for his wing spot should he receive a call-up.
Rumours were swirling that Jennings was not guaranteed a spot, but it seems unlikely he’ll be dropped given his big game performances. But Mitchell Pearce and James Maloney are unlikely to reclaim their spots for the Blues for Game One.