The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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Roosters coach Ricky Stuart has named an unchanged line-up to take on a desperate Sharks outfit on Friday night at Toyota Park. But despite Brett Kimmorley?s mid-season form slump, three consecutive defeats and the suspension of enforcer Jason Stevens today, Roosters hitman Adrian Morley says the Roosters ? with five players backing up from Origin II ? can?t afford to take the men from the Shire lightly.
?We?ve been in the position of trying not to lose four games in a row already this year,? Morley says.
?We know how desperate that made us feel.
?We won?t be expecting anything less from the Sharks come Friday night.?
Powerful back-row rookie Adam Schubert has retained his place in the Roosters? starting side after an impressive debut against Manly two weeks ago.
Boom interchange forwards Anthony Tupou and Richard Fa?aoso are in line to start depending on how Craig Fitzgibbon and Chris Flannery come through tomorrow night?s blockbuster Origin clash.
But the Roosters' chief playmaker says the club's Origin stars won?t be daunted by playing their sixth game in a month.
?They?re all pretty tough cookies, I think they?ll be OK to play,? Finch says.
?They?re use to backing up, but the rest of us know we have to lift that extra bit to help them.
?We?re looking forward to the game, our last result was disappointing but the effort is there.?
Fitzgibbon will lead the side out for the second time, with Luke Ricketson serving the last week of a two game suspension for striking.
The Sharks will be desperate to avoid a fourth straight loss against the Roosters, after slipping from the joint competition lead to fifth place over the past three weeks.
St George Illawarra?s hefty win over North Queensland on Sunday pushed the Roosters from seventh to eight place on the table, ensuring nothing will be left to chance on Friday in rugby league?s most even season to date.
?There aren?t any easy games any more ? we haven?t had one yet,? Roosters coach Ricky Stuart says.
?Teams are training better, preparing better and playing better ? if you think it?s just a matter of turning up to get a win then you?ll get beat.
?I?m confident with how the likes of Shane Flanagan, Jim Dymock and Phil Gould have been running the team while Origin has been on.
?It?s important for us to bounce back against the Sharks ? the Manly loss left us in a crucial position on the table ? so we need a strong effort from everyone on Friday night.?
Fans will have the opportunity to catch the Jersey Flegg action from 5.40pm on Friday night. The Roosters will tackle Newtown on Saturday at 3pm at Henson Park.
Anthony Minichiello Joel Monaghan Iosia Soliola Ryan Cross Amos Roberts Craig Wing Brett Finch Jason Cayless Stuart Webb Adrian Morley Adam Schubert Craig Fitzgibbon Chris Flannery Michael Crocker Jamie Soward Richard Fa'Aoso Anthony Tupou