sportsbet.com.au Team Announcement: Semi Final v NQL Cowboys
Trent Robinson has received a huge boost ahead of this Friday night's Semi Final, with the Head Coach today naming both Aidan Guerra (suspension) and Jake Friend (injury) as starters in this week's side for the Allianz Stadium clash with the North Queensland Cowboys.
Guerra returns after a week on the sidelines following a one-week suspension for the QLD Maroon from the NRL Judiciary from our Round 26 win over the South Sydney Rabbitohs, joining fellow representative stars Boyd Cordner and Sonny Bill Williams in the backrow.
Meanwhile, Friend will play his first match in 20 days after the dummy-half suffered a Haemothorax following the win over the Melbourne Storm in Round 25 on August 30 at Allianz Stadium.
Friend's return sees back-up hooker Mitchell Aubusson move back to the bench as part of a five-man outfit named by Robinson including Frank-Paul Nuuausala, Isaac Liu, Remi Casty and Kane Evans.
The side is otherwise unchanged from last week's Qualifying Final.
Roosters: Anthony Minichiello (c), Daniel Tupou, Michael Jennings, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, James Maloney, Mitchell Pearce (vc), Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (vc), Jake Friend (vc), Sam Moa, Boyd Cordner (vc), Sonny Bill Williams, Aidan Guerra
Bench: Mitchell Aubusson, Frank-Paul Nuuausala, Isaac Liu, Remi Casty, Kane Evans
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Last Time We Met:
It was the worst defeat of the 2014 NRL season when we last faced the Cowboys, up in Townsville in Round 10, but this week it's Finals Footy.. and a whole different story!
Following an in-house suspension halfback Mitchell Pearce was ruled out and Sonny Bill Williams called in to step-up into the halves alongside Jimmy Maloney, but it wasn't a happy ending for the new-look pairing after a 32-point loss to the North Queensland side.
However, this Friday night the Cowboys arrive with that result well and truly behind us.
With Pearce in the No.7 shirt this time and in firing form, the boys will be ready and raring to go to ensure we're there in the Preliminary Final in the third week of the 2014 Finals Series.
To check out the last time we met, watch the Match Highlights on Roosters TV here.