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Butcher Ready for Opening Round SCG Return

It's been nearly 300 days since the Roosters stepped onto the hallowed Sydney Cricket Ground, and Nat Butcher is ready to get back to business this Saturday afternoon.

Heading into his seventh season of first-grade, the humble utility forward highlighted the side's strong pre-season and cited his excitement at the prospect of not only returning to the SCG, but also taking the field with the Roosters' NRLW side on the same day.

“It’s been a long pre-season and it’s been great,” Butcher said.

“We’ve trained really well and laid some good foundations for the season, and now we’re looking to go out and execute on Saturday. It’s going to be such a great day.

“The SCG is our home. We’ve enjoyed playing there for the last couple of years and we’re looking forward to getting out there and representing our area.

"I’ve been watching the NRLW the last couple of Sundays and that’s been great; I think the women have done an incredible I’m really looking forward to having that double-header."

Another reason for the 77-gamer to be excited for the first 80 minutes of the year is the return of Luke Keary and Lindsay Collins, both of whom are ready to take the field following arduous ACL reconstructions. 

Round 1 Media - Nat Butcher

For Butcher, the direction that the mercurial five-eighth brings to the side will be invaluable to the side, not to mention the impact that his fellow forward possesses. 

“It’s really great to have our leaders back out there; guys like Kez who lead a good foundation for us and steer the ship when on the field,” he explained.

“I think a lot of guys do need time [to return from injury], but a guy like Kez - he knows his role. He’s been playing in the league for a number of years now and he’s the best in his position and he’s the ultimate professional.

"To have a guy like him in our team gives us a lot of confidence and a lot of strength. Kez is going to go out there on Saturday and play his game and the Roosters style of footy and we can’t wait to have him out there.

“I’m looking forward to him and also Lindsay Collins. He really helps our middle out and gets us going from the front there.

“I’m looking forward to having him back out there too.”

With a big shake up in the squad over the off-season, the Club has seen the likes of Boyd Cordner, Jake Friend, Brett Morris and Josh Morris retire as well as the ever-reliable Isaac Liu depart.

But Butcher has witnessed the rise of the next generation of Roosters first-hand, and according to the back rower, the Club's future is in great hands. 

“Last year we had a lot of guys that had to step up when called upon and that’s a credit to the Club. It’s such a great Club and Robbo is such a great coach,” he said.

Our goal every year is the same - to win the Premiership no matter how the year plays out and who comes in and who comes out.

Nat Butcher On the Club's ethos

“Our goal every year is the same - to win the Premiership no matter how the year plays out and who comes in and who comes out.

“Everyone in our squad is ready when available. We had a great pre-season, and when they need to be called upon, they’ll step up and play and do a great job.

“This year we’ve seen the next crop come through; a lot of new faces and a lot of new guys that have really stepped up.

“They’ve pushed everyone in that squad and everyone’s fighting for a position come Round 1.”

One of those members of the next generation of first-graders is of course, Nat’s younger brother Egan, who made a big impression on Roosters Members and supporters in his fifteen matches last season.

Round 1 Media - Adam Keighran

And his big brother couldn’t be prouder to pull on the famous Tricolours alongside him.

“He’s been in the squad for a number of years now,” he explained.

“For him to finally get his opportunity last year and not just play and do a job but really step up and perform was excellent.

“On the training field we’re definitely competitive, obviously playing similar positions, we definitely go at it. To play those games with him has been great.

“I know mum and dad are really proud, unfortunately, they couldn’t get to many of the games because we were in Queensland, but they’re looking forward to getting to some this year."

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.