The Sydney Roosters and Canberra Raiders have picked their 21-man squads for this Sunday’s NRL grand final, with no surprises from either side.
Jared Waerea-Hargeaves is back in the Sydney team after missing their preliminary final win over the Storm, pushing Siosiua Taukeiaho to the bench.
Jake Friend, as was the case last week, has been named amongst the reserves for the Chooks. The co-captain has only made five appearances in 2019 and last played in Round 18, having since been hampered with a calf injury.
However, with young hooker Sam Verrills performing admirably in the veteran’s absence, there are calls for Friend to be overlooked for selection even if he is passed fit for the grand final.
Reigning Clive Churchill medallist Luke Keary has also been named to start by Trent Robinson, despite an ankle injury concern hovering over the star five-eighth.
Ricky Stuart, meanwhile, has opted for an unchanged line-up. Both Joey Leilua and Josh Hodgson have been named in the starting XIII, although both are under fitness clouds.
Leilua picked up a calf contusion in Canberra’s win over South Sydney last Friday but trained today and is expected to play.
Co-captain Hodgson, however, was a notable absentee at Raiders training today on account of a viral infection, with the Raiders confirming they didn’t want to risk him spreading the illness to any of his teammates. Like Leilua, Hodgson is still expected to run out for Sunday’s decider.
NRL grand final squads
1. James Tedesco
2. Daniel Tupou
3. Latrell Mitchell
4. Joseph Manu
5. Brett Morris
6. Luke Keary
7. Cooper Cronk
8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
9. Sam Verrills
10. Isaac Liu
11. Boyd Cordner (c)
12. Mitchell Aubusson
13. Victor Radley
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