Mind games start for NRL season - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Mind games start for NRL season

By Brent Read and Steve Connolly 13/03/2003 10:34:22 PM Comments (0)

Let the National Rugby League season - and the mind games - begin.

The premiership gets underway on Friday night when the Sydney Roosters take on Parramatta at Aussie Stadium and already the second guessing has started.

Roosters coach Ricky Stuart, who may be forced to make a late change to his squad, said he was preparing for Parramatta counterpart Brian Smith to tinker with his line-up on match day.

"I just always expect the unexpected. With Parramatta, you're always wary of what other teams may or may not do," Stuart said.

"I have a look at their team list and then get prepared on about another six players because you don't know who's playing with them."

Smith named a seven-man bench earlier this week, but Shayne Dunley and Pat Richards are certain to drop off after being named in the squad for Friday night's Premier League trial.

Stuart may also be forced to fiddle with his side on game day, with hooker Craig Wing (ankle) still no certainty to take his place.

The 23-year-old trained on Thursday and Stuart is prepared to give the Test player until the eleventh hour.

"He was alright but obviously I want to give him right up until the game to make a decision on him," Stuart said.

"He's improving every day which is the reason I'm giving him right up until the game.

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