Trent Robinson has been forced into a late change of his side for tonight's Round 17 clash with the Cronulla Sharks at Allianz Stadium, with superstar Roger Tuivasa-Sheck ruled out of the match with a hamstring injury sustained at training this week.
With Tuivasa-Sheck and his usual partner in crime, Daniel Tupou (Origin duty) unavailable, Robinson has opted to hand Under 20s star Brendan Elliot his NRL debut.
Elliot will feature on the right wing, outside Shaun Kenny-Dowall, while his Holden Cup team mate and PNG international Nene Macdonald will replace Tupou on the left after being named on Tuesday for his third NRL appearance of the season.
A member of our 2012 SG Ball Squad, Elliot made the step-up to the Holden Cup Squad in 2013 and impressed on debut with an after-the-siren conversion from the sideline to beat arch-rivals South Sydney at Allianz Stadium.
Now in his second season of Under 20s action, Elliot has transformed himself into one of the most feared outside backs in the NYC and was rewarded with selection in the QLD side for this year's U20s State of Origin match on 3 May.
Robinson, who has watched Elliot closely since his arrival at the Club, had this to say of the young outside back.
"Brendan trained with the NRL squad over summer and impressed with his enthusiasm and attitude, which he has carried into this year’s Under 20s comp. He’s worked hard for this opportunity and is deserving of this chance.
"He is a professional and we’re all looking forward to watching him play tonight.”
Born in Queensland, Elliot played his junior rugby league with the Runaway Bay Seagulls (Gold Coast) which was also the junior club of Kangaroo Peter Jackson, Kiwi International and Newcastle Knights forward Jeremy Smith and former Penrith Panther and Queensland Maroon Scott Sattler.
Away from the footy field Elliot currently works part-time at Easts Leagues Club, Bondi Junction, whilst also studying a Diploma in Sport and Recreation Management.
In other LATE MAIL news, Isaac Liu has been named to start at lock after being originally listed to start from the bench.
Liu's promotion sees Frank-Paul Nuuausala start from the bench alongside fellow international forwards Remi Casty and Kane Evans, with utility Heath L'Estrange rounding out the replacements.
Siosiua Taukeiaho remains 18th man.
The side is unchanged otherwise.
Roosters: Anthony Minichiello (c), Nene Macdonald, Mitchell Aubusson, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Brendan Elliot, James Maloney, Mitchell Pearce (vc), Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (vc), Jake Friend (vc), Sam Moa, Dylan Napa, Sonny Bill Williams, Isaac Liu
Bench: Frank-Paul Nuuausala, Remi Casty, Heath L'Estrange, Kane Evans
Unavailable: Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (injured), Michael Jennings (injured), Daniel Tupou (Origin duty), Aidan Guerra (Origin duty), Boyd Cordner (Origin duty)
- Centre / Wing
- Sydney Roosters Player No. #1144
- Born: Brisbane, QLD
- Junior Club: Runaway Bay Seagulls
- 14th debutant in the Trent Robinson reign
- 5th debutant in 2014 NRL season
- 3rd Under 20s player to debut in 2014 NRL season