JWH Thrilled With New-Look Roosters
Sydney Roosters enforcer Jared Waerea-Hargreaves is loving the new "voices" on the field as his team prepares for another NRL campaign where they will start as Telstra Premiership favourites.
Speaking in the lead-up to Saturday night's trial against the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles at Central Coast Stadium, the 29-year-old told NRL.com key recruits James Tedesco and Cooper Cronk had settled in well.
“They bring experience and a brand of very exciting footy. Especially in Teddy (James Tedesco). Hearing (Cooper) Cronk’s voice, it is a voice you can trust. He is somebody that I respect very highly in what he’s done in the game," he said.
“I'm super excited to have someone like himself and Teddy in our team, playing some good footy for us.
"Personally I haven't been this excited in a few years. We’ve recruited really well in the off-season. We are sick of tackling our own teammates and really exciting to start playing some footy.”
The Roosters are expected to be close to full strength against the Sea Eagles, as coach Trent Robinson searches for his best 17 before their season opener against the Wests Tigers on March 10 at ANZ Stadium.
“We are going to stack a pretty strong side out there,'' Waerea-Hargreaves said.
"To get these new guys playing is obviously important to build combinations and to try and gel as early as we can. We want to be stringing a few things together and playing our style of footy.
“It’s been a long six weeks of pre-season but the footy is finally here, so bring it on.”
All pre-season, the Tricolours have drummed home the importance of taking pride in their defence.
They also haven't forgotten their shock preliminary final defeat in 2017 at the hands of the North Queensland Cowboys at Allianz Stadium last September.
“It was disappointing to end a game short of what we would have liked to have been but I think that was the motivation getting a few of us through those tough days of pre-season,'' Waerea-Hargraves said.
"Also letting it go and really narrowing our focus down to perform as well as we can each day so when we get the opportunity later on, whenever it is in 2018, we can make the most of it.”
Waerea-Hargreaves is also looking forward to seeing the club's next generation of stars announcing themselves as genuine first-graders.
“We got a guy here Victor Radley who's 19 and we all know he’s fearless. To stand in the middle of a field and trust somebody that young to do his job, to defend as well as he does is exciting.
“We also have the likes of Joe Manu and Latrell Mitchell who play centre for us. We all know what they are capable of producing it’s just getting that mature head on their shoulders so they can do it consistently throughout the year.”