Brad Fittler and Paul Gallen have clashed over the possibility of bringing Sonny Bill Williams straight into the Roosters team, as Trent Robinson deals with a horror injury toll.
Luke Keary, Mithcell Aubusson and Lachlan Lam joined the Roosters casualty ward during their 24-6 Round 14 loss to the Storm to make it 11 players currently unavailable.
However Robinson played down the possibility of 2013 premiership winner Williams joining the team early, with Round 17 still the likely target.
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NRL: The Melbourne Storm have claimed a comfortable 24-6 win over the Sydney Roosters.
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“You need about three weeks out of isolation to get going, that would be it [Canberra] – nobody get excited about next week,’’ Robinson said.
“He has a big aura about him externally, but he knows a lot of the guys and he’s been talking to a lot of them. It will be great to bring him in.’’
However Fittler believes the Roosters may have little choice than to call on Williams’ experience as the battle for the top four is set to come down to the wire.
But fellow commentator Paul Gallen was not convinced Williams would be ready in time.
“You’ve got to think Sonny Bill Williams has come at a pretty good time,” Fittler said on Channel 9s Thursday Night Footy.
“You can’t honestly think Sonny Bill Williams is going to walk into the team next week after not playing for months?” Gallen replied.
“Gal, what are you going to do? What else? There’s no one. They’re out, they’ve got eleven players,” Fittler hit back.
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“Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Boyd Cordner, they can’t come back?” Gallen asked.
“I don’t think so,” Fittler said.
“You really think they would risk Sonny Bill Williams and put him in for next weekend after what he’s been through?” Gallen persisted.
“He’s been in quarantine for two weeks.”
Trent Robinson is down on troops.Source:Getty Images
However Fittler believes this is the perfect scenario for someone of Williams’ stature to help the young Roosters players through a tough period.
“They’ve got quite a big turnaround, hopefully, Sonny can get some run in his legs,” Fittler said.
“I don’t know what other options there are. Egan Butcher is the only one I can see through the list and he’s a 19-year-old, whether you want to throw him out there at the moment.
Rugby league star Sonny Bill Williams is targeting a Round 17 return.Source:News Corp Australia
“Maybe this is the great story. Sonny’s come at the right time and this is what he’s paid to do.
“We talk about how motivating he can be, there are some kids who need motivating, this is his job.”
However Gallen believes it would be madness to rush Williams after his round the world flight and two week quarantine period.
“I just think it would be a big ask on Sonny to fly back overseas, spend two weeks in quarantine and play next weekend,” Gallen said.
“I think it’s a big ask. I see what Freddy’s saying, but I say it won’t happen.”
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Originally published asFreddy and Gal clash over SBW’s early Roosters return. But Robbo won’t budge
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