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It may be a homecoming for former Cowboy Luke ODonnell in Townsville tonight but another Rooster will certainly have a bigger cheersquad than the rest of those in Red, White and Blue, when they take to the turf in North Queensland.

Townsville junior Aidan Guerra will run out as a Rooster for the first time in his NRL career in front of family and friends, when used off the bench by coach Trent Robinson in this crucial clash for the improving Roosters.

And the mobile backrower is excited for what he describes as a special occasion in his 48th NRL appearance.

Its going to be good to get back there and see the family, plus having a lot of people out to watch me will be great, Guerra said.

Its the first time Ive played in Townsville, as a Rooster, and its a special occasion for me.

However the match is more than just a homecoming for the emerging Maroon squad member and in a true testament to the mentality Robinson has brought to Bondi, Guerra isnt focused on anything but the two competition points.

And, with Jared Waerea-Hargreaves joining Sam Moa in the stands following his five-week suspension, Guerra like the rest of the Roosters pack will need to step up and take the lead through the middle of the park.

Especially given that one the Cowboys dont lack is quality in the number eight and ten shirts.

Missing our two starting front-rowers makes it a bit more of a challenge for us but weve got confidence in our system and that whoever comes in will do the job.

Weve got to match them up front, given that theyve got arguably the two best front-rowers in the comp, but if we can match them there and control the speed then guys like JT dont get the chance to control the game.

Guerra couldnt have been blamed for being worried that he may not have seen as much NRL action this year as he has in previous seasons, given the arrival of proven Test backrowers ODonnell and Sonny Bill Williams, plus the emergence of Boyd Cordner.

However, in typical fashion of the straight-shooting forward, Guerra has enjoyed the challenge of taking on a new role under the watchful eye of the young Roosters coaching staff.

Its a bit of a challenge for me to take on the new role this season, but Ive worked with the coaches to make that spot mine and Im slowly getting used to it but theres always room for improvement.

And, like his new role, Guerra has also taken on a new look this year after growing probably the most impressive beard in Bondi. But why the new look, Aidan?

It just works, he said, with a smile and a wink.

Lets hope tonights game plan does as well.
Acknowledgement of Country

Sydney Roosters respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.