The Tricolours will be aiming to reverse the result of their last meeting with the Broncos, and what better way to kick off the final month of the regular season than with a double-header at Suncorp Stadium?
Recent History: Sydney Roosters vs Brisbane Broncos
The Roosters and Broncos will play for the 55th time on Friday night, with the Tricolours playing their third match at Suncorp Stadium this season.
Although Brisbane hold a better overall record, with Easts winning 22 of those matches (42%), the Red, White and Blue have won three of the last five encounters, with the ledger evening out as both sides have shared the spoils in the previous ten matches with five wins apiece.
Both sides will be eager to bounce back from close losses in Round 21, and with a bumper crowd predicted to fill up the stadium, you can expect this match to be nothing short of a thriller.
How They Line Up
A handful of changes have been made to Trent Robinson's side following the Round 21 match.
Dale Copley will make his on-field return to the Roosters on the wing alongside Daniel Tupou, while James Tedesco reprises his role as fullback and captain. Joseph Manu and Adam Keighran once again line up in the centres.
Halves pairing Drew Hutchison and Sam Walker will combine for the eleventh time this season, while the forward pack features Isaac Liu, Sam Verrills and Siosiua Taukeiaho in the front row.
Fullback for Broncos is number 1 Tesi NiuFullback for Roosters is number 1 James Tedesco
Winger for Broncos is number 2 Corey OatesWinger for Roosters is number 2 Daniel Tupou
Centre for Broncos is number 3 Selwyn CobboCentre for Roosters is number 3 Adam Keighran
Centre for Broncos is number 21 David MeadCentre for Roosters is number 4 Joseph Manu
Winger for Broncos is number 5 Xavier CoatesWinger for Roosters is number 5 Dale Copley
Five-Eighth for Broncos is number 6 Tyson GambleFive-Eighth for Roosters is number 6 Drew Hutchison
Halfback for Broncos is number 7 Albert KellyHalfback for Roosters is number 7 Sam Walker
Prop for Broncos is number 8 Thomas FleglerProp for Roosters is number 8 Isaac Liu
Hooker for Broncos is number 9 Danny LeviHooker for Roosters is number 9 Sam Verrills
Prop for Broncos is number 10 Payne HaasProp for Roosters is number 10 Siosiua Taukeiaho
2nd Row for Broncos is number 11 Alex Glenn2nd Row for Roosters is number 11 Nat Butcher
2nd Row for Broncos is number 12 Jordan Riki2nd Row for Roosters is number 12 Sitili Tupouniua
Lock for Broncos is number 13 Kobe HetheringtonLock for Roosters is number 13 Victor Radley
Interchange for Broncos is number 14 Xavier WillisonInterchange for Roosters is number 14 Lachlan Lam
Interchange for Broncos is number 15 Rhys KennedyInterchange for Roosters is number 15 Egan Butcher
Interchange for Broncos is number 17 TC RobatiInterchange for Roosters is number 16 Fletcher Baker
Interchange for Broncos is number 19 Anthony MilfordInterchange for Roosters is number 17 Naufahu Whyte
Reserve for Broncos is number 18 Cory PaixReserve for Roosters is number 20 Brad Abbey
- Referee: Ashley Klein
- Touch Judge: Phil Henderson
- Touch Judge: Darian Furner
- Senior Review Official: Henry Perenara
Nat Butcher comes into the second row in place of Angus Crichton, joined by Sitili Tupouniua and Victor Radley to round off the starting side.
On the interchange bench Lachlan Lam, Egan Butcher and Fletcher Baker are joined by Naufahu Whyte, who is set to make his first-grade debut and become Sydney Rooster #1205 and the eighth NRL debutant for the Club in season 2021.
Meanwhile, Ben Marschke, Tuku Hau Tapuha, Brad Abbey and Ben Thomas have all been named on the extended bench.
The Broncos have made mass changes to their side, and will welcome the return of Thomas Flegler, Albert Kelly, Xavier Coates TC Robati and Selwyn Cobbo with Keenan Palasia, Brodie Croft, Jesse Arthars and Jamayne Isaako making way.
Key Match Up: Isaac Liu and Siosiua Taukeiaho vs Payne Haas and Thomas Flegler
It's a battle up front between the two front rows in this blockbuster which will see experienced pairing Siosiua Taukeiaho and Issac Liu face up against young bucks in Payne Haas and Thomas Flegler.
With nearly 350 games of NRL games to call upon, Tauekiaho and Liu have been a constant force in a Roosters side that has battled through turbulent periods this season, leading the side from the front alongside the absent Jared Waerea-Hargreaves.
Their opponents this week in Haas and Flegler have had to step up in similar roles in a side filled with plenty of youth but little experience to draw upon - evidenced by the fact they are both just 21 years of age.
The Roosters front rowers have been consistent in terms of yardage (127 and 100 metres average per game), while Haas has taken plenty of the workload alongside his front row partner. All four props average well above 90% tackle efficiency per game as well.
With both sides missing key forwards this week, plenty of their firepower will stem from the contributions of this quartet, so you can bank that the game will be decided in the middle third of the field.
What They Said
"There’s a focus at the end of the year but we want to play a style of footy that we love. There was a bit of that but there’s still a while to go. That’s why I’m looking forward to Friday night.” - Trent Robinson
The Tricolours' charge towards the top four will take another step in the right direction with a win against the Broncos, but they face a tough task against a side who will no doubt be desperate to finish off their year in winning fashion.
Roosters Members and fans in southeast Queensland will be treated to a double-header as the Penrith Panthers and St George Illawarra Dragons kick off their match at 6pm, so be sure to purchase your tickets here and cheer on the Red, White and Blue at Suncorp Stadium!