Jake Friend eager for Sydney Roosters extension


Friend appeared in 233 of a possible 258 games for the club between the 2009-18 seasons. That includes 133 consecutive matches over a five-year period that began in 2010.

Now, in his 13th pre-season with the club, the veteran hooker said he was fully fit for a crack at a third straight title.

Another incentive is the all-time record for most appearances at the club, which is held by Anthony Minichiello with 302. Teammate Mitchell Aubusson, who also comes off-contract at the end of next season, is second on 290. Friend is behind Mitchell Pearce in fifth on 246 matches.

“Obviously [it was] tough watching last year. But definitely, for the rest of my body, the injury seems to be really good,” Friend said.

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“All the scans are positive. So going into next year, that [arm] should be all fine and the rest of me has had a pretty good rest. I feel fresh and never been [more] excited to get back into training after not having as much footy during the year.”

Friend said he had reached out to Mitchell, who returned for pre-season testing last week but isn’t expected to rejoin the squad until the new year.

However, the Kangaroos player could be at a new club by then, with the Wests Tigers, South Sydney and Gold Coast mentioned as possible homes.

“He seemed fine to me. He’s enjoying time with his family and I think that’s great for him. He needs that after a big season,” Friend said. “He’s got a decision to make and that’ll be done over the Christmas break, I’d say.”



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