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Roosters relishing NRL return of Verrills

The Sydney Roosters are hoping the return of Sam Verrills for their SCG clash with the Warriors on Sunday helps them settle into the NRL season after some indifferent form.

Verrills has finally overcome a thumb injury to allow the Roosters to field their first-choice spine for the first time this season as they attempt to bank their fourth win of 2022..

Teen sensation Joseph Suaalii will also make his first appearance of the season, replacing Paul Momirovski who, like prop Sio Siua Taukeiaho, has a calf injury and is unavailable.

Suaalii played five matches last season after being given permission to debut before his 18th birthday, but suffered a foot injury and underwent surgery in July.

Coach Trent Robinson said he was looking for a genuine No.9 in Verrills to bring some stability to the position.

“It’s really important to get your nine back,” Robinson said on Saturday.

“We’ve obviously been playing with Connor (Watson) who’s a part-time nine/13 and then also Drew (Hutchison) who’s a half.

“So it’s nice to get a technician, a craftsman, back in there to get the good service, good vision and that consistency around nine for us which we’ve missed at the start of the year.

“For the first time this year we’ve got our spine together so that’s that’s a big bonus for for the next progression of our team.”

The Roosters are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the 2002 premiership win over the Warriors, with both sides playing in replica jerseys based off those worn in that title decider.

Robinson said that team, which triumphed 30-8, laid the platform for the current players.

“They laid the path for the Roosters’ modern day footy,” he said.

“The way that they attacked oppositions and the way that they sort of sort of revolutionised line speed in our game.

“I was at that grand final. I went to watch my mates play for the Roosters that day and it was such an iconic strip that they wore.

“We’re really proud to wear the white at home and honour them and it was a big day for New Zealand as well, first grand final and minor premiership as well.

“It was such a such a memorable game. The way Freddy (Brad Fittler) and (Adrian) Morley played, it was a pretty special day.”

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