You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
Roosters winger Ryan Hall.

Veteran England and Leeds winger Ryan Hall says if he can one day be mentioned by the Bondi faithful in the same breath as the club's last great English import, Adrian Morley, he will have done his job.

Since debuting for Leeds 12 years ago, the blockbusting flanker has racked up 233 club tries in 330 games as well as 35 tries in 38 Tests and long been tipped as a player who would succeed in the NRL.

With coach Trent Robinson ruling Daniel Tupou out on Thursday, Hall is set to be elevated from the reserves list to make his Telstra Premiership debut at Suncorp Stadium against the Broncos on Friday night.

Why switch now?

Hall told it was neither a desire to prove doubters wrong or a wish to follow in anyone else's footsteps that motivated him to shift his young family from the Old Dart late in his career.

Rather it was a rare off-contract chance that opened the door and a desire to explore something different that made him step through it.

"It's been talked about from other people saying I should come over or that I would suit the game quite well over here," Hall smiles while reclining in the shade of the Central Coast Stadium grandstand seats during a pre-season media day.

Ryan Hall takes on the Aussies at AAMI Park in 2014.
Ryan Hall takes on the Aussies at AAMI Park in 2014. ©Brett Crockford/NRL Photos

"It seems every year the England Test comes up and I play a decent series and it gets talked about then I remain in Super League but it's purely down to, I've always had long contracts.

"This is the first time I'm ever been off contract so I saw that as an opportunity to move on and explore the world a little bit. I had the mentality of wanting to move on but wanting to achieve things and that's been the main reason why coming to the Roosters."

The decision to join the club was made halfway through last year, before the Tricolours surged to the 2018 title, but even then a squad brimming with talent and a coach he held in high regard was enough of a selling point.

"I'm used to winning premierships," Hall shrugs matter-of-factly.

"I've won six back in England in 12 years I've played there. It would be great to win an NRL one.

"As soon as the Roosters said they were interested once I put out the word I was looking to move on, it was like a perfect match. I put the blinkers on a little bit with respect to other clubs as soon as the Roosters got involved."

Getting accustomed to winning premierships isn't really a thing in the fiercely competitive NRL, where no club has gone back-to-back in a unified competition since the Broncos in 1992-93, but Hall has an unshakeable belief Trent Robinson can get this squad to break that drought.

"[Robinson] was in charge of Catalans for a few years while I played against him; he knew who I was and respected the way I played so it was nice to hear from a very successful coach," Hall says.

Hopefully I can get my knee right and do myself justice. It would be a crying shame if I couldn't do myself justice.

Ryan Hall

"You can tell the club is very proud of what it's won in previous years and last year. It's a winning culture, like what I've been a part of for so long at Leeds.

"A lot of them are current internationals, ex-internationals or have been around the international arena. They've all welcomed me with open arms."

An untimely injury

Hall tore his ACL just a month after locking in the Roosters deal and has been forced to complete his rehab across two clubs and hemispheres.

Even by February his knee was free from any obvious signs of the reconstruction, with the 31-year-old striding out in straight-line running as he targeted a return in the first eight to 10 weeks of the season.

Adrian Morley was a huge fan favourite at Bondi.
Adrian Morley was a huge fan favourite at Bondi.

"It's a weird situation I find myself in because the Englishmen coming over always want to make a bit of an impression and the best way to do that is just get on the field and play," he said.

"I haven't been able to do that with my knee.

"It's my first real injury, it's my first operation. A lot of people raise their eyebrows at that because I've been playing for so long.

"I'm 31 now and in my 13th year and luckily I keep coming through unscathed. It's my first real one so that's a challenge in itself because I've never spent much time on the sidelines.

"Moving clubs as well, it's all been a bit of a learning curve but the Roosters have had a couple of ACLs come through the program so I'm happy to listen to them."

Forwards good, backs not so much

While there have been plenty of great Englishmen star Down Under in recent times, it's been decades since a back came from England to the NRL and dominated the way the Burgess brothers, James Graham, Josh Hodgson, Gareth Ellis, Morley and co. have in the forwards.

The likes of Sam Tomkins, Joe Burgess, Zak Hardaker, Dan Sarginson and Greg Eden have come out in recent years and left again without leaving a big mark on the NRL.

But Hall isn't too interested in why that might be. He'd rather be a good player for the Roosters and live up to Morley's legacy than worry about proving English backs can succeed in the NRL.

Broncos v Roosters - Round 10

"It certainly has been talked about – a lot of people have been saying straight away the English forwards go well, not so much the backs," Hall admits.

"There's been a tendency for backs to come over here, not really get any game time and go back home and go under the radar a little bit. I really don't want that to happen, I want to give it a really good go.

"Especially when so many people have said I'd suit the game over here, I wanted to come over a few years ago and give it a go but things weren't to be. Hopefully I can get my knee right first of all and do myself justice. It would be a crying shame if I couldn't do myself justice.

"But if I wanted to look at a pattern, I'd look at a pattern of Leeds lads coming over. The last player to come over from Leeds to the Roosters was Adrian Morley. If I could do anything close to the sort of standard he did I'd take that as a win. The club holds him in high regard and rightly so.

"He did a great job and he was here for a lot longer than I'll probably last because I'm getting on a bit now but if any Roosters fans over the next generation hold me and Moz in the same sentence, in the same conversation, I'll take that as a win."

A tough sell for a six-year-old

Hall is hoping to hang around for a few years now that he's gone to all the trouble of relocating two small children halfway round the world.

"Hopefully I can stay as long as possible. I've moved my family over here and they're loving life in Sydney so that's a massive part of my life at the moment," Hall says.

"I've got to make sure my family is happy.

"Leeds is nothing quite like the climate you've got over here. The weather makes everything a little bit more easy, you go outside, it's great for kids. As long as that stays like that I think they're going to be happy."

So where there any hiccups telling a primary-school aged boy he was leaving his school and his mates behind?

"My boy Harry is six and my little girl Violet is three. He didn't take too kindly – English school and Australian school is run a bit differently so he was in year two in England, he's now gone back to year one again.

"So I had to convince a six-year-old he's going back in time to do some more lessons, he wasn't very happy about that! But he's fitting in quite nicely; we're in a good spot, easily accessible to training for me and beaches for the kids."

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.