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Robinson Confirms Return of Leaders for Newcastle Test

Head Coach Trent Robinson says his side is well equipped to overcome recent adversity ahead of their Friday night match against the Newcastle Knights, with a pair of leaders set to return.

In what will be a pivotal match for the finals hopes of both combatants with the last stretch of the regular season in full tilt, the Roosters have been struck by injury, but also bolstered by the availability of Luke Keary and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves.

Robinson: "We Want to Really Go After the Game"

The three-time Premiership-winning mentor confirmed both players to make their long-awaited return to the side tomorrow night in what will no doubt be pleasing news for Members and supporters alike. 

“He’s ready to go,” Robinson said of Keary.

“He’s looking forward to getting out there and he’s worked his way back through a fair bit of training and a fair bit of contact.

“He passed them (HIA protocols) a fair while ago. He was pretty keen on playing last week but we felt after a few weeks off he needed a bit more training. He’s been ready from the back end of last week and he’s ready to go.

“It’s pretty important to get him (Waerea-Hargreaves) back in and playing. We would’ve liked him a bit earlier but again he’s had some really good training, a bit like Luke has over the past couple of weeks.

“It’s good to get the big man out there again and playing some footy and leading from the front.”

You’re not looking for a boost from somebody else – you’re looking to get yourself ready to play and then whichever seventeen suits up and it's their time to go. It is great to have the voice of Luke and Jared coming back in and around, but it’s also important to have that attitude.

Trent Robinson On what his side needs to bring to the field tomorrow night

On the other side of the coin, the Tricolours have been stung with fan favourites Billy Smith and Sitili Tupouniua being struck down by ACL injuries in a cruel twist. 

However, Robinson is confident both the duo and their teammates will be able to overcome the recent adversity to spur on and continue their run to the finals. 

“Those injuries are always difficult,” he said.

“When you get two in a game it’s really difficult. Billy is in a different situation to Sitili – for Sitili it’s his first major one. There are a couple of other guys in the team who know what it’s like.

“They’ll get surgery next week and get on the path to recovery. It’s all too common in our game and in sport. It’s a tough, long road but it’s also been successfully rehabbed.

“It’s a funny one because they’ve lost a couple of mates and they’ve had a couple come in and I think the attitude of ‘we’re going in no matter what' is the important thing.

“You’re not looking for a boost from somebody else – you’re looking to get yourself ready to play and then whichever seventeen suits up and it's their time to go. It is great to have the voice of Luke and Jared coming back in and around, but it’s also important to have that attitude.

“If you do that on that platform and the seventeen guys combine, that’s when you get the best results. That’s what we need to do tomorrow.”

On the international stage, the major news of the week came from hard-hitting lock Victor Radley's decision to pledge his allegiance to England. 

While it came as a shock to many in the Rugby League world, Robinson was far from surprised to see his enforcer commit to his heritage, citing the close bond Radley shares with his father as the catalyst. 

“If you ask Rads who’s had the most influence on his career and his life, it’s his dad," Robinson said. 

“He keeps going back to his dad and the gratefulness that he has in his involvement in his footy and the man that he is today.

“He’s formed him and so the older you get the more that bond comes out even more. He really wants to represent his father and it’s a pretty strong piece.

“His father came out from Sheffield when he was in his twenties to form a life, and he gave Victor the life that he has got along with his mum.

“It’s one from the heart, so you can’t question that.”

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.

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