Returning fan favourites, young gun debutants and representative veterans make up an eclectic Roosters line up this Easter Sunday in what is always an intriguing contest against our rivals from across the Tasman.
Recent History: Sydney Roosters vs New Zealand Warriors
On Sunday the Roosters and Warriors meet for the 43rd time, with the visitors holding a slight overall lead with 22 wins compared to the Tricolours' 19 (with a solitary draw), but curiously, the Roosters hold a superior points difference, with 975 scored compared to 758 conceded.
The Red, White and Blue have had the wood over Warriors in recent memory, winning the last three contest by an aggregate score of 92-16.
Match Highlights | Roosters v Warriors
Prior to that, the Warriors won the last four matches, while the Roosters had a hat-trick of wins before that, overall winning six of the last ten encounters.
Easts and Auckland have only done battle on the hallowed Sydney Cricket Ground on one occasion, with the Roosters running away with a 42-6 victory in 2019, with four of the current five backline members in Joseph Manu, James Tedesco, Daniel Tupou and Brett Morris touching down for four-pointers.
How They Line Up
The changes to Trent Robinson's side will see fan-favourite players returning to the line up, while a handful of prospects have the opportunity to create history and make their NRL debut in the Red, White and Blue.
Isaac Liu shifts up front at prop while Victor Radley returns to the starting side at lock for his first NRL match since mid-2020.
Sydney Roosters Members and supporters will have the chance to see Sam Walker make his much-anticipated NRL debut after being named at halfback alongside Drew Hutchison, having impressed for North Sydney in the first few rounds of the NSW Cup.
Fullback for Roosters is number 1 James TedescoFullback for Warriors is number 1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
Winger for Roosters is number 2 Daniel TupouWinger for Warriors is number 2 David Fusitu'a
Centre for Roosters is number 3 Josh MorrisCentre for Warriors is number 3 Adam Pompey
Centre for Roosters is number 4 Joseph ManuCentre for Warriors is number 4 Marcelo Montoya
Winger for Roosters is number 5 Brett MorrisWinger for Warriors is number 5 Ken Maumalo
Five-Eighth for Roosters is number 6 Drew HutchisonFive-Eighth for Warriors is number 6 Kodi Nikorima
Halfback for Roosters is number 7 Sam WalkerHalfback for Warriors is number 7 Sean O'Sullivan
Prop for Roosters is number 8 Isaac LiuProp for Warriors is number 8 Addin Fonua-Blake
Hooker for Roosters is number 9 Freddy LussickHooker for Warriors is number 9 Wayde Egan
Prop for Roosters is number 10 Siosiua TaukeiahoProp for Warriors is number 10 Bunty Afoa
2nd Row for Roosters is number 11 Angus Crichton2nd Row for Warriors is number 11 Eliesa Katoa
2nd Row for Roosters is number 12 Sitili Tupouniua2nd Row for Warriors is number 13 Tohu Harris
Lock for Roosters is number 13 Victor RadleyLock for Warriors is number 14 Jazz Tevaga
Interchange for Roosters is number 15 Jared Waerea-HargreavesInterchange for Warriors is number 12 Bayley Sironen
Interchange for Roosters is number 16 Nat ButcherInterchange for Warriors is number 15 Ben Murdoch-Masila
Interchange for Roosters is number 17 Fletcher BakerInterchange for Warriors is number 16 Leeson Ah Mau
Interchange for Roosters is number 19 Benjamin MarschkeInterchange for Warriors is number 17 Jack Murchie
- Referee: Ben Cummins
- Touch Judge: Liam Kennedy
- Touch Judge: Wyatt Raymond
- Senior Review Official: Alan Shortall
Matt Ikuvalu has been named to fill the utility role on the bench, joined by Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Fletcher Baker and Nat Butcher, who also returns to the side after being a late omission in Round 3.
Rookies Egan Butcher, Ben Marschke, Tuku Hau Tapuha and Joseph Suaalii round off an extended bench full of youth.
For the Warriors, Marcelo Montoya replaces the injured Peta Hiku in the centres, while Bayley Sironen earns a starting role after coming off the bench last week.
Key Matchup: James Tedesco vs Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
Another former Rooster lines up against James Tedesco this week in the form of Warriors custodian Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.
Both donning the no.1 jersey and both captains of their respective sides, the comparisons don't stop there - with the two fullbacks also both recipients of the Dally M Medal, ironically in successive seasons, and also Premiership winners in Bondi.
Their highlight reels are equally distinguished, as is their status in the game as two of the best players for both club and country.
Tedesco has made a habit of finding the line this season, dotting down for six tries in the first three matches of the year. While Tuivasa-Sheck scored his sole four-pointer last week, it was an all-important one in his side's comeback victory against the Raiders.
The duo pride themselves on their presence and work rate on the field, while RTS boasts more average run metres than Tedesco (215m vs 173m), the Roosters' skipper has proven his reliability in defence, with 16 tackles at 74% efficiency compared to Tuivasa-Sheck's 44% efficiency with 5 tackles made and 5 missed.
What They Said
“It’s an opportunity for us to step up. It will be a great test of our character, and I’ve got confidence in this squad that we can live up to that. I’m looking really forward to Sunday at home" - Second Rower Angus Crichton
Daniel Tupou Round 4 Media
With a new-look halves pairing and a number of youngsters looking to force their way into the top seventeen, it's an exciting period for the rejuvenated Roosters, who have the opportunity to make it two from two at home in 2021 as the Warriors seek to prove their credentials in the competition.
Make sure to grab your tickets here, head on out on Sunday afternoon and cheer on the Red, White and Blue as we prepare for what is bound to be another blockbuster at the SCG!