Sonny Bill, Wing return to NRL - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sonny Bill, Wing return to NRL

By Todd Balym 24/06/2008 08:05:56 PM Comments (0)

Bulldogs superstar Sonny Bill Williams and South Sydney saviour Craig Wing will both make comebacks from injury this weekend after being named for their sides.

Williams will return after missing a month with a knee injury and is set to lead the Bulldogs out of their three-game losing streak against an Origin-weakened Sydney Roosters side at the Sydney Football Stadium on Friday.

Rabbitohs favourite Wing makes his long awaited comeback after a serious shoulder injury just eight minutes into his round one return to the club.

He joins the Rabbitohs at a crucial time as the club has won back-to-back games and can move further out of wooden spoon contention by beating the last-placed North Queensland side in Townsville on Saturday.

Wing has been named at five-eighth alongside rookie half Chris Sandow, with John Sutton shifting to lock and Ben Lowe onto the bench.

"I'm really focusing on my return for the Rabbitohs this week in Townsville and my aim is to play some good football for the club this week, and for the rest of the season," said Wing.

"I've worked very hard to make my return and I'm really looking forward to playing against the Cowboys on Saturday night."

The return of crowd favourites Williams and Wing is a boost to the NRL with Origin ruling the best 34 players out of club action this weekend.

The Roosters are missing six stars with Setaimata Sa and James Aubusson their new-look halves pairing and Mark O'Meley set to assume the captaincy.

The Bulldogs have also made several changes from the side embarrassed 58-18 by Canberra last week with 19-year-old Arana Taumata given his debut at five-eighth and Danny Williams recalled to first grade in place of injured Nick Kouparitsas (ankle).

Even though the Roosters side is without their six Origin stars, coach Brad Fittler is backing his men to have enough experience to topple the Bulldogs.

"I don't really care about (losing players). I think we're a good enough side to beat Canterbury anyway," he said.

"Our forward pack is still big. We have some great experience there and our backs don't change that much so we will be extremely competitive."

Former Newcastle premiership winner Sean Rudder will play his first NRL game in five years when he joins the Roosters backrow after impressing for Newtown.

Rudder left the Knights at the end of 2003 to play in the English Super League and spent last year playing rugby union in Japan before linking with the Jets in 2008.

"When I came back from Japan I was going to give it away," Rudder said.

"I just thought I'd have one more year but I wasn't expecting to be playing in the NRL again.

"I'm really looking forward to having another crack at first grade."

Elsewhere Brisbane prop Joel Clinton will make an early return from an AC joint injury against his former club Penrith on Friday night.

PJ Marsh has been named at pivot for the Broncos with David Stagg out with a torn calf, but both Stagg and captain Darren Lockyer (knee) will be back for the July 13 clash with the Bulldogs.

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