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Roosters Aim for Success Amid Return to NSW Cup

Sydney Roosters will play in the Knock On Effect NSW Cup competition for the first time since 2005 this Sunday against the Western Suburbs Magpies at Leichhardt Oval.

Re-introduction into the reserve-grade competition will allow the Tricolours to develop their pathways system, strengthening all grades from Harold Matthews through to NSW Cup, and teaching them the ‘Roosters Way’ of playing the game.

The Roosters will play 24 matches across a 26-week fixture from Sunday March 5 to Saturday August 26. The draw includes a total nine home games at Wentworth Park, seven double-headers with the NRL team and a magic round triple-header against South Sydney Rabbitohs at Redfern Oval.

Sydney Roosters General Manager of Football Programs Craig Walker believes that the club’s return to NSW Cup will assist in developing the next crop of NRL stars.

“We believe that this will provide a true pathway for the development of our players from Harold Matthews through to the NRL,” he said.

“While we have enjoyed a successful partnership with the North Sydney Bears, we have notified them that we will be fielding our own team in the 2023 Knock On Effect NSW Cup competition.”

Sydney Roosters development players Ben Thomas, Tui Katoa and Junior Pauga will don the North Sydney jersey throughout the year, commencing their season against the Penrith Panthers this Friday at BlueBet Stadium.

Easts also welcomes Glebe Dirty Reds to the NSW Cup fold in 2023, with the foundation club penning a three-year deal to become the feeder for the Tricolours reserve-grade team, a valuable partnership that unites two teams in the heart of Sydney.

Roosters NRL Football Analyst and NSW Cup Assistant Coach Tait Barnes says that Sydney’s reserve grade team are bound for success following the successful recruitment of athletes who have previously been exposed to the pathway.

“We’ve got a mixture of players that we had in the past from Jersey Flegg, we’ve also recruited some stars who we had at the club around three years ago too,” Barnes said.

“These are players who have been through our system before, so we’ve made it our priority to re-expose them to our pathway to help build our club’s future.”

The Roosters last claimed the NSW Cup title in 2004, defeating St George Illawarra 30-8. This year they’ll attempt to etch themselves back into the top eight under the guidance of head coach Anthony Barnes, Tait’s father.

Sydney Roosters Head Coach Trent Robinson is confident the NSW Cup team will thrive in their return to the competition.
Sydney Roosters Head Coach Trent Robinson is confident the NSW Cup team will thrive in their return to the competition.

The assistant coach says he’s seen huge development in player’s attitudes, efforts and skills over the past two months and the squad is more than capable of achieving high results this season.

“Trent [Robinson] is really big on our entire pathways system being aligned. Yes, there will be minor variations between grades, but the goal is that the Sydney Roosters principles will trickle down all the way to Harold Matthews,” he said.

“Having that support from the NRL coach has been instrumental, we know we’ve got so many people supporting us and we want to make them proud. We want to make sure this opportunity to re-enter the NSW Cup sets our club up for success in the long-run.”

Sydney Roosters will keep Members and supporters updated on the Club's NSW Cup results throughout the season.

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.