Senior players Josh Morris and James Tedesco have hosed down any suggestions of doubt around the side's Premiership aspirations, endorsing their faith in the squad's depth as they look toward their Round 4 match against the Warriors this Sunday.
Tedesco, now appointed sole captain of the side, conceded that while the loss of Luke Keary would be felt, the squad still has their sole focus on claiming the 2021 Premiership.
“Not at all,” he stated when asked if there was any doubt.
“It’s obviously a loss for us, but it’s early in the year and we’ve still got plenty of time to still achieve the goal of winning the comp.
I don’t think we’ll be flying under the radar just yet. We’ve still got plenty of good players in our side and whoever the next man up is confident they can get the job done.Josh Morris Roosters Centre
“Being the captain with those guys out I still have to lead by example, we can’t get too down about it. Having season-ending injuries like that especially with a key playmaker in Luke is disappointing but we can’t hold onto that.
"We can’t feel sorry for ourselves and we’ve got to work hard every week to get back to the top.
“He’s obviously devastated by it but he’s in good spirits."
Morris echoed his skipper's words, challenging anyone to write the team's chances off at their own peril.
“Don’t write us off yet,” Morris declared.
Round 4 Media - Josh Morris
“We’ve got plenty of depth here at the Roosters and we’ve got the philosophy of the next man up is ready to go to do his job.
“I don’t think we’ll be flying under the radar just yet. We’ve still got plenty of good players in our side and whoever the next man up is confident they can get the job done."
With many expecting young half Sam Walker to make his much-anticipated NRL debut this Sunday as the Roosters host the Warriors at the Sydney Cricket Ground, the experienced duo believe the 18-year-old is ready to step up to the top grade.
"We talk about the talent of Sammy Walker - we’ve got to remember that a lot of these guys didn’t play football last year but they trained against first-grade sides week-in-week-out," Morris said.
“We had blokes like Boyd Cordner and Angus Crichton running at him (in pre-season) and since then he’s put on a lot more size, he’s a lot more confident. He can make the step up.
“We’re not too worried if Sammy comes into the side, he’ll do his job. Whoever comes into the side will do their job.
“These things happen and you’ve got to take the opportunity when you’ve got the chance."
“He’s a gun. He’s training really well after the pre-season," added Tedesco.
“He had a tough year last season with covid and not being able to play footy but he came back in his first trial, hit the ground running and looked right at home.
Round 4 Media - James Tedesco
“He’s started the year really well with the Bears (Roosters NSW Cup feeder team North Sydney Bears) and everyone’s been impressed with how he’s been playing.
“Obviously he’s young and he’s going to take a bit of time, he’s inexperienced but you’ve got to expect that.
“He plays ‘eyes up’ footy, he’s got a good kicking and passing game. His running game and his ability to play footy is pretty special. He’s got a bit of that speed and acceleration as well. He’d make a good replacement."
It’s obviously a loss for us, but it’s early in the year and we’ve still got plenty of time to still achieve the goal of winning the comp.James Tedesco Roosters Captain
While plenty have been concentrating on the omissions from the squad in recent weeks, Tedesco was sure to point out the returning contingent of stars to the side, in what will be a big boost for the Tricolours as they return to the hallowed SCG.
“It’s all about Victor playing his game and not getting too overwhelmed by it all and building himself back into footy. He’s been training the house down.
"We have to play our own footy first and let him get back into the swing of things but I’m really excited to connect up with him.
“We had a good start to the year there at home, so it will be good to get back there, get a big crowd there and hopefully a good win."
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