Two powerhouses of the modern era will look to make one almighty statement when they kick off Round 6 on Thursday night in Melbourne.
The Storm and Roosters have both won three games in 2023 to sit inside a top eight that bears little resemblance to the way things finished last year with the Sharks, Rabbitohs, Cowboys and Eels all on the outer after moderate starts to the season.
Craig Bellamy's men have home ground advantage and momentum up after an impressive win over the Rabbitohs in Round 5 while the Roosters are also coming off a victory, having taken care of the Eels in emphatic fashion on the back of a dominant performance by Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (21 runs for 180m).
The Storm have won five of the past six clashes between the two sides but it was the Roosters who prevailed 18-14 in the most recent meeting in Round 24 last year courtesy of tries to Daniel Tupou, Joseph Manu and Joseph Suaalii.
Another tense and tight encounter can be expected as the 2018 grand finalists write another chapter in a great rivalry that has filled endless highlight reels during the past decade.
Match: Storm v Roosters
Round 6 -
Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne
Storm: The side will run out as per programme with Grant Anderson listed as 18th man. Chief playmaker Jahrome Hughes returns from suspension while Blues Origin rep Tariq Sims returns to the bench.
Roosters: There are no late changes for the visitors. The absence of skipper James Tedesco (concussion) sees Joey Manu take the fullback role in his return from suspension in the only change to the starting 13 that got the win in Round 5. On the bench, Terrell May comes in for Naufahu Whyte, who goes to 18th man. Edge forward Sitili Tupouniua has been named to play NSW Cup for North Sydney as he continues to work his way back from an ACL injury suffered in Round 18 last year.
Match: Storm v Roosters
Round 6 -
Fullback for Storm is number 1 Nick MeaneyFullback for Roosters is number 1 Joseph Manu
Winger for Storm is number 2 Will WarbrickWinger for Roosters is number 2 Daniel Tupou
Centre for Storm is number 3 Reimis SmithCentre for Roosters is number 3 Joseph-Aukuso Suaalii
Centre for Storm is number 4 Justin OlamCentre for Roosters is number 4 Drew Hutchison
Winger for Storm is number 5 Xavier CoatesWinger for Roosters is number 5 Jaxson Paulo
Five-Eighth for Storm is number 6 Cameron MunsterFive-Eighth for Roosters is number 6 Luke Keary
Halfback for Storm is number 7 Jahrome HughesHalfback for Roosters is number 7 Sam Walker
Prop for Storm is number 8 Tui KamikamicaProp for Roosters is number 8 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
Hooker for Storm is number 9 Harry GrantHooker for Roosters is number 9 Brandon Smith
Prop for Storm is number 10 Christian WelchProp for Roosters is number 10 Lindsay Collins
2nd Row for Storm is number 11 Trent Loiero2nd Row for Roosters is number 11 Egan Butcher
2nd Row for Storm is number 12 Eliesa Katoa2nd Row for Roosters is number 12 Nat Butcher
Lock for Storm is number 13 Josh KingLock for Roosters is number 13 Victor Radley
Interchange for Storm is number 14 Bronson GarlickInterchange for Roosters is number 14 Jake Turpin
Interchange for Storm is number 15 Alec MacDonaldInterchange for Roosters is number 15 Terrell May
Interchange for Storm is number 16 Tom EisenhuthInterchange for Roosters is number 16 Corey Allan
Interchange for Storm is number 17 Tariq SimsInterchange for Roosters is number 17 Fletcher Baker
Replacement for Storm is number 19 Grant AndersonReplacement for Roosters is number 18 Naufahu Whyte
- Referee: Ashley Klein
- Touch Judge: Kasey Badger
- Touch Judge: Darian Furner
- Senior Review Official: Gerard Sutton
- The Storm have won five of their past six games against the Roosters.
- The Roosters have won two of their past three matches at AAMI Park.
- Storm winger Xavier Coates has scored 13 tries in 11 games at AAMI Park.
- The Roosters have won seven of their past eight games with Joseph Manu at fullback.
- Cameron Munster will partner Jahrome Hughes in the Storm’s halves for the first time since Round 1.
Stats supplied by David Middleton, League Information Services, author of the official annual of the NRL.