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Unlucky Roosters lose star to eye injury

Sydney Roosters have been rocked by yet another injury with hooker Sam Verrills to miss Friday’s clash with Parramatta with a semi-detached retina.

The 22-year-old played 50 minutes against Newcastle in Saturday night’s 38-4 victory in just his second game back from an ACL injury.

However, after missing most of the 2020 season, the eye injury is the latest setback for the young hooker who has been added to the club’s worrying casualty ward.

The Roosters have not yet confirmed a time-frame for Verrills’ recovery but Ben Marschke has been named at No.9 to face the Eels at Bankwest Stadium.

It comes after Brett Morris and Lindsay Collins were both ruled out for the rest of the season with ACL injuries.

The Roosters now have at least eight starting NRL players unavailable this weekend with four – Morris, Collins, Jake Friend (retired) and Luke Keary (ACL) – ruled out for the rest of the year.

Matt Ikuvalu has been named on the wing to replace Morris while skipper James Tedesco is set to make his return after missing last week with a concussion.

Teen sensation Joseph Suaalii has been named on the extended bench and remains an option to make his NRL debut.

“It’s a bit of a challenge but we’ll get through it,” said veteran Roosters forward Jared Waerea-Hargreaves.

“Someone will step in this week and do a good job for us and it’s exciting.

“It’s exciting for guys like Ikuvalu to get more footy, Joe Suaalii to possibly get a debut, so these guys are itching and they’re keen to be playing some footy.”

Parramatta have named lock Nathan Brown to start despite suffering a painful hip pointer injury in Saturday’s win over the Bulldogs.

The NSW Origin forward went down in agony after copping a knee to his hip and it was feared he could miss significant game time.

Elsewhere, the Dragons will be without star centre Zac Lomax for at least a few weeks after he dislocated his finger.

The club is yet to finalise his return-to-play schedule after the rising star met with specialists on Tuesday.

In a positive sign for the club, winger Cody Ramsay will be monitored for a rib cartilage injury after he was named to play against Canterbury on Sunday.

Elsewhere, South Sydney coach Wayne Bennett was forced to change his backline for Thursday night’s clash with Melbourne.

Adam Reynolds is facing four weeks on the sidelines with a thumb ligament injury, while Cameron Murray (ankle) and Campbell Graham (hand) will both miss a month.

Winger Jaxon Paulo also underwent surgery on Tuesday on a fractured thumb and will be out for up to eight weeks.

Benji Marshall is set to start in the halves alongside Cody Walker against the Storm, with Alex Johnston moving to fullback and Steven Marsters and Taane Milne on the wings.

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