Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson wants to face South Sydney Rabbitohs twice in rejigged season draw


“If we play 18 rounds and play someone twice, we know who we will be playing twice.

“Let’s get it started in round three, it’s a nice way to kick off. If it’s not the case and the broadcasters and NRL want to do it differently, there are 14 other teams we can play. But [Souths] would be a cracker.

Trent Robinson oversees his players this week at training.Credit:Getty

“If you told me we would play team X on May 28, it wouldn’t change what I’m doing today.

“There’s actually a bit of excitement there and it’s like we’re going into draft night as we get closer to the competition and we’re [finding out] who we will play.

“When they tell us the draw we’ll get ready.”

One sticking point with the broadcast negotiations has been whether Nine should retain first rights to choose the match of the round. Souths and the Roosters remains arguably the most desirable TV game of the season.

James Tedesco, rugby league's best player, is ready for take-off.

James Tedesco, rugby league’s best player, is ready for take-off.
Credit:Getty

Before the competition was suspended because of COVID-19, Robinson said his team would prepare for Mitchell at fullback and left centre. Souths coach Wayne Bennett maintains Mitchell will be wearing the No. 1 at the end of the month.

“I won’t go into specifics about anybody in particular, but you prepare for opposition options one, two, three if you do your homework well enough,” Robinson said on Saturday.

The mini pre-season, which will include full contact for the first time on Monday, has proven a ”blessing in disguise” for new Rooster Josh Morris.

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Robinson also hopes the premiers will resume their campaign at the storied Sydney Cricket Ground, with venues to be finalised as part of the new-look draw.

“Personally I love being at the SCG, it will still host the grand final as far as we know. It’s a beautiful traditional venue,” he said.

“I also know we’ll probably be in a limited number of stadiums in Sydney to begin with. I’m trusting the NRL and broadcasters to get the best decision.”

The Roosters lost their opening two matches, including a one-point defeat against Manly, but are more than ready to chase a third straight title, something that has not been done since the 1981-83 Parramatta clean sweep.

The return of inspirational skipper Boyd Cordner, who was rested for the opening two rounds, is set to be a major factor in any resurgence.

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