Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
The Sydney Roosters were ravaged by injury in 2021, yet the club remained courageous and came close to a top-four finish for the seventh time in eight years.
Fans are used to seeing the Roosters be dominant but last season got to see them be resilient, with the club earning the respect of many.
In 2022, they are looking to earn back that dominant aura, as a plethora of returning talent and a few smart signings see the Roosters labelled as one of the favourites to win the premiership.
Since making his NRL debut in 2018, Renouf Atoni established himself as a fully-fledged first-grader at the Bulldogs and will now look to take his career to the next level at the Sydney Roosters.
The club already had an imposing forward pack before Atoni’s arrival, but his arrival just adds that extra depth and competition for places in the squad.
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Paul Momirovski returns to the Roosters off the back of a premiership-winning season with the Penrith Panthers in 2021.
The 25-year-old is arguably the best defensive centre in the NRL, making him the perfect replacement for Josh Morris in Sydney.
Kevin Naiqama left the NRL as a squad rotation player and returned as a Harry Sunderland Trophy winner and Super League champion.
Brett Morris’ retirement and Matt Ikuvalu’s move to the Cronulla Sutherland Sharks has left the Roosters a little thin out on the wing, but Naiqama will look to fill the void and make the most of his second chance in the NRL.
Since leaving the Roosters at the end of 2017 Connor Watson has gone from promising half to one of the best utility players in the NRL.
He will return to the club a much better player that can play in the halves, at hooker and lock, making him the perfect option to use off of the bench in the number 14.
QUESTIONS HEADING INTO 2022
WILL KEARY AND WALKER GEL?
On his day, Luke Keary is arguably the best half in the NRL, with three premierships and a Clive Churchill Medal to boot.
Sam Walker is one of the NRL’s most exciting young talents, who stepped up to the plate and delivered throughout 2021 when he was called into the Roosters first grade lineup to replace an injured Luke Keary.
These two athletes are proven talents individually, but still, have to show that they’re a well-oiled machine when playing together.
HOW WILL JOSEPH SUAALII BE USED?
Joseph Suaalii made headlines last year when he made his NRL debut for the Roosters at just 17-years-old.
He can play anywhere in a back five and will be looking for a more prominent role in the NRL this year.
If Kevin Naiqama doesn’t quite make the return that the tricolours are hoping for then there is a good chance Suaalii will be his replacement.
1. James Tedesco ©
2. Daniel Tupou
3. Joseph Manu
4. Paul Momirovski
5. Kevin Naiqama
6. Sam Walker
7. Luke Keary
8. Lindsay Collins
9. Sam Verrills
10. Sio Siua Taukeaiho
11. Angus Crichton
12. Sitili Tupouniua
13. Victor Radley
14. Connor Watson
15. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
16. Renouf Atoni
17. Nat Butcher
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