Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson has revealed he plans to bring Joseph Suaalii closer to the action ahead of his coveted NRL debut, but that probably won’t come this weekend.
Suaalii’s path to top football was cleared this week after last-minute documents were approved by the NRL on Tuesday. Adding to the anticipation, Suaalii’s name among Robinson’s 21-man squad was announced on Tuesday.
Amid the club’s devastating injury crisis, there was speculation the teenage sensation could have slipped into the 17th, with Robinson scratching to assemble a fit squad on game day by Sunday.
But speaking on Wide World of Sports Radio, the coach revealed that Suaalii would likely have to wait at least another week before lashing out on the NRL.
“Most likely not,” Robinson replied when asked if fans could expect to see Suaalii.
“He’ll be in the 21, I want to give him some of that experience. But we’re pretty good in the outside full-backs right now.”
However, the coach revealed that his debut could be closer than fans think, with Robinson keen to prepare the youngster as soon as possible.
“But I want to bring him closer to the action,” he said.
“The Norths (the Roosters supply club) aren’t playing this weekend for us so I want to give them that game day experience in the NRL.
Elsewhere, the Tricolors will also be much-vaunted half-back Sam Walker who will sit alongside Drew Hutchison in place of injured Luke Keary and Lachlan Lam.
“We are delighted to welcome young Sammy and Drew has played enough games with us now to know what we need, so we can’t wait to bring them out,” he said.
“We just had it (injuries) in specific areas, in No. 9, 7 and 6. We had quite a few numbers in there in training and now it’s all gone.
“It’s really unfortunate for us but it’s footy. That’s how life is.”
The roosters will clash with the warriors on Sunday afternoon.
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