Seymour's return not a risk: Stuart - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Seymour's return not a risk: Stuart

By Todd Balym 10/03/2009 06:26:36 PM Comments (0)

Cronulla coach Ricky Stuart insists there is "no risk" in Brett Seymour playing against Penrith on Saturday despite the halfback returning less than six months after knee surgery.

Seymour missed the Sharks' NRL preliminary final last year after he injured his knee in a freak training incident but has progressed so well in his rehabilitation that he is set to resume playing five weeks ahead of schedule.

Seymour will partner new recruit Trent Barrett in the halves against Penrith, with backrower Reni Maitua also named in the 19-man squad as Stuart gives the former Test forward a chance to prove his fitness with a late test on his injured ankle.

Stuart was astounded by Seymour's recovery and was hopeful his early return would help the new-look Sharks settle into their routine.

"Remarkable. He really adjusts well to leg injuries," said Stuart.

"His body really is enhanced with regards to his leg strength.

"He is really strong from the legs down which has given us a month or maybe earlier in regards to him coming back.

"I'm very impressed with the way he has applied himself over the offseason, he is a very, very important part of the team - Brett at seven.

"I'm certain we are not taking a risk. We are not putting him in a position where it is a risk at all to his leg.

"He has proven himself to all the medical people in regards to testing and his knee is 100 per cent.

"It's a healthy squad. We need football. We have a lot of new players in the team so the more football we can play the better we will get."

Penrith coach Matthew Elliott has pulled his own selection shock, naming Luke Lewis at five-eighth alongside halfback Jarrod Sammut despite fielding Lewis in the back row during the trial games.

Sydney Roosters captain Braith Anasta is another ditching his pre-season switch to the forward pack, named instead to play five-eighth against South Sydney on Sunday.

Roosters coach Brad Fittler had planned to make Anasta a lock in 2009, but Kiwi international Setaimata Sa will now play that role in round one.

South Sydney have retained the lineup which beat St George Illawarra in the Charity Shield two weeks ago.

Meanwhile new Dragons coach Wayne Bennett has left out Mathew Head, Neville Costigan, Brett Morris and Mickey Paea from his side to play Melbourne on Friday.

New recruits Darius Boyd, Jeremy Smith, Michael Weyman and Luke Priddis have all been named in Bennett's side.

Newcastle coach Brian Smith has handed new recruit Ben Rogers first crack at forming a halves partnership with former NSW halfback Jarrod Mullen.

Rogers will start at five-eighth against the Gold Coast on Sunday, the former Rabbitoh and Dragon beating Luke Walsh and Scott Dureau to the gig.

Warriors skipper Steve Price will play his long-awaited 300th game when he leads his side out against Parramatta on Saturday.

Price, who will become just the 11th player in over 100 years of rugby league to reach 300 top-grade games, would have reached the milestone last year if the Warriors had beaten eventual premiers Manly in the grand final qualifier.

Manly Test prop Brent Kite has been added to the Sea Eagles' victorious World Club Challenge side along with debutant American Samoan winger Anthony Suniula, who replaces injured star David Williams, for Saturday's clash with the Bulldogs.

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