Undisciplined O’Donnell out for Roosters

By James MacSmith, James MacSmith is a Roar Guru

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    After just two games with his new club, star Sydney Roosters NRL recruit Luke O’Donnell was stood down on Tuesday following a series of minor breaches of club discipline.

    O’Donnell will miss the Roosters round-four match against Parramatta on Monday night after a number of indiscretions including being late to training.

    Luke Kelly (hamstring) and Ken Sio (ankle) return for the Eels.

    O’Donnell joined the tricolours from Huddersfield for the 2013 season and has showed good form in the two wins over the Warriors and Brisbane.

    Roosters chief operating officer of football, Brian Canavan, said the club had investigated allegations of a Kings Cross incident involving the former representative backrower but “there was nothing in it”.

    “It was more a matter that he was late to training and, as a seasoned player, the punishment was more heavyhanded than it might have been for a younger player,” Canavan said.

    “It was about drawing a line in the sand.”

    While O’Donnell is the major out of round four of the NRL, Brisbane’s Justin Hodges and Canterbury pair Ben Barba and Frank Pritchard are the big ins.

    Hodges returns to a Broncos side struggling for points against unbeaten Melbourne on Friday, while Barba and Pritchard reinforce the 2013 grand finalists who face South Sydney on Friday at ANZ Stadium.

    Roy Asotasi returns to an extended seven-man bench for the undefeated Rabbitohs after being dumped for poor form from their high-scoring win over Penrith.

    “The message is pretty simple. If you’re performing well, you’ll keep your spot. That’s what we base all our selections on,” Souths captain Michael Crocker said.

    “We’re really fortunate we’ve got good depth and we’ve got people pushing for positions.”

    Newcastle welcome back interchange centre Timana Tahu for the first time this season for Sunday’s match against Canberra at Hunter Stadium. Danny Buderus will make his starting debut after coming off the bench in the Knights’ round-three thrashing of North Queensland.

    Robbie Rochow will slot into the second row for the Knights to cover for the injured Beau Scott, who is sidelined with a groin injury. Chris Houston remains captain with Kurt Gidley still recovering from a calf injury.

    Manly utility Jesse Sene-Lefao has come onto the bench for the suspended Richard Fa’aoso for Thursday’s game against Wests Tigers in Gosford. Fa’aoso will front the NRL judiciary on Wednesday night in an attempt to have his four-match ban for dangerous contact reduced to one.

    Centre Ben Pomeroy returns from suspension for Cronulla to face St George Illawarra at Sharks Stadium on Saturday, while hooker Isaac De Gois is on a five-man bench.

    Under-siege Dragons coach Steve Price has named an unchanged 17.

    Gold Coast are hopeful of playing the same 17-man squad for the fourth week in a row against Penrith on Sunday with lock Ashley Harrison (concussion) looking to recover from his head clash and centre Brad Takairangi from a hamstring complaint.

    The Cowboys have named an unchanged team for the clash against the Warriors in Auckland on Easter Monday.

    The embattled Warriors, who have lost 11 successive games going back to last season, welcome back prop Sam Rapira and winger Glen Fisiiahi.

    © AAP 2018

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