Dubbo-born Connor Watson will be in the starting 13 for the first time in his short NRL career tonight when the Sydney Roosters trake on South Sydney at Allianz Stadium.
The utility has gained a reputation as something of a ‘super-sub’ during his career to date, but some impressive efforts off the bench, coupled with a standout effort at the Auckland Nines, has seen him slip into the hooking role vacated by Jake Friend.
After suffering a facial injury against Penrith last weekend, Friend was unable to get through his side’s final session on Wednesday afternoon, with coach Trent Robinson bringing Watson into the starting side.
Wellington’s Blake Ferguson had already been ruled out of the match with rib cartilage damage.
Rabbitohs: 1 Cody Walker 2 Alex Johnston 3 Siosifa Talakai 3 Robert Jennings 5 Bryson Goodwin 6 John Sutton 7 Adam Reynolds 8 Thomas Burgess 9 Robbie Farah 10 Jason Clark 11 Angus Crichton 12 Kyle Turner 13 Sam Burgess (c) 14 Damien Cook 15 Anthony Cherrington 16 Robbie Rochow 17 Zane Musgrove 19 Tyrell Fuimaono 21 Sitiveni Moceidreke
Roosters: 1 Michael Gordon 2 Daniel Tupou 3 Latrell Mitchell 4 Joseph Manu 5 Shaun Kenny-Dowall 6 Luke Keary 7 Mitchell Pearce 8 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 17 Connor Watson 10 Dylan Napa 11 Boyd Cordner (c) 12 Mitchell Aubusson 13 Aidan Guerra 14 Isaac Liu 15 Zane Tetevano 16 Ryan Matterson 8 Chris Smith 19 Paul Carter 22 Mitchell Cornish