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A Roosters side needing a win to remain in touch with the top four faces the toughest test the NRL has to offer.

Defending premiers Melbourne have won their past 12 matches and are scoring points for fun.

In their past nine matches, they have failed to reach 40 points just twice - on one of those occasions they scored 34 and on the other they scored 20 despite being without their Origin contingent. That's good for an average of 42 points per match.

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak affecting Sydney, this match has been moved to McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle.

The rundown

Team news

Roosters: Two late changes with Drew Hutchison added to the bench for his first game since suffering a punctured lung in round nine and teenager Joseph Suaalii coming in on the wing. Matt Ikuvalu goes to 18th man.

Sam Walker returns at halfback after two weeks to rest his shoulder issues so Lachlan Lam shifts to No.6 and Joey Manu returns to the centres.

Sitili Tupouniua (foot) is back so Fletcher Baker goes to the bench. James Tedesco and Angus Crichton will both back up from Origin II.

Adam Keighran and Freddy Lussick were the first two players omitted from the squad 24 hours before kick-off. Ben Thomas was the last player cut an hour before kick-off.

The Roosters have won four of their past five games at McDonald Jones Stadium.

Storm: No late changes for the Storm with Queensland forwards Christian Welch and Felise Kaufusi backing up on a five-day turnaround from Sunday's Origin II clash. Welch will come from the bench with Tui Kamikamica promoted to start.

The return of Kenny Bromwich from a rib injury and brother Jesse from an elbow problem helps cover for the loss of Nelson Asofa-Solomona to suspension.

Cooper Johns and Jordan Grant were the first two players cut 24 hours before kick-off. Dean Ieremia was the last man omitted an hour before kick-off.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Roosters is number 1 James Tedesco
    Fullback for Storm is number 1 Nicho Hynes
  • Winger for Roosters is number 2 Daniel Tupou
    Winger for Storm is number 2 George Jennings
  • Centre for Roosters is number 3 Josh Morris
    Centre for Storm is number 3 Reimis Smith
  • Centre for Roosters is number 4 Joseph Manu
    Centre for Storm is number 4 Justin Olam
  • Winger for Roosters is number 21 Joseph Suaalii
    Winger for Storm is number 5 Josh Addo-Carr
  • Five-Eighth for Roosters is number 6 Lachlan Lam
    Five-Eighth for Storm is number 6 Cameron Munster
  • Halfback for Roosters is number 7 Sam Walker
    Halfback for Storm is number 7 Jahrome Hughes

Forwards

  • Prop for Roosters is number 8 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
    Prop for Storm is number 8 Jesse Bromwich
  • Hooker for Roosters is number 9 Sam Verrills
    Hooker for Storm is number 9 Brandon Smith
  • Prop for Roosters is number 10 Siosiua Taukeiaho
    Prop for Storm is number 15 Tui Kamikamica
  • 2nd Row for Roosters is number 11 Angus Crichton
    2nd Row for Storm is number 11 Felise Kaufusi
  • 2nd Row for Roosters is number 12 Sitili Tupouniua
    2nd Row for Storm is number 12 Kenneath Bromwich
  • Lock for Roosters is number 13 Isaac Liu
    Lock for Storm is number 13 Dale Finucane

Interchange

  • Interchange for Roosters is number 15 Egan Butcher
    Interchange for Storm is number 10 Christian Welch
  • Interchange for Roosters is number 16 Daniel Suluka-Fifita
    Interchange for Storm is number 14 Aaron Booth
  • Interchange for Roosters is number 17 Fletcher Baker
    Interchange for Storm is number 16 Chris Lewis
  • Interchange for Roosters is number 18 Drew Hutchison
    Interchange for Storm is number 17 Aaron Pene

Reserves

  • Reserve for Roosters is number 5 Matt Ikuvalu
    Reserve for Storm is number 21 Trent Loiero

Match Officials

  • Referee: Adam Gee
  • Touch Judge: Liam Kennedy
  • Touch Judge: Chris Butler
  • Senior Review Official: Ashley Klein

Last updated:

Key match-up

Sam Walker v Jahrome Hughes: Walker has made a great go of things in his rookie season. A long, and successful, future beckons. In this match he will line up against Hughes, the unsung hero of the Melbourne side. Originally a fullback, Hughes' move into the No.7 jersey has provided Melbourne with another great option in attack.

Stat attack

Storm wingers Josh Addo-Carr and George Jennings have scored 25 tries between them - but they both missed out in Round 15 even though their side scored 12 four-pointers against Wests Tigers.

 

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