Roosters forwards will fire up: Ryles - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Roosters forwards will fire up: Ryles

By David Beniuk 01/03/2010 09:03:19 PM Comments (0)

Veteran Sydney Roosters prop Jason Ryles says the young forwards he will lead into the club's opening NRL clash with South Sydney will not be intimidated by size or reputation.

Ryles is a certainty to play in round one after a quad strain kept him in cotton wool during the trials and the Roosters will be desperate for his experience with their forward stocks decimated by injury.

With confirmation that Anthony Cherrington's season is over because of an anterior cruciate ligament tear and gun recruit Jared Waerea-Hargreaves also on the sidelines, the Roosters will rely largely on rookies after the departures of Willie Mason, Mark O'Meley, Craig Fitzgibbon and Shane Shackleton.

They will face an acid test in Souths' much vaunted pack, led by Roy Asotasi, Sam Burgess and Dave Taylor.

Asotasi has already compared the Rabbitohs forwards to the big men he played with at the Bulldogs in their 2004 premiership-winning side.

"After five minutes and everyone's tired, the intimidation sort of goes out of it, you're into the game of footy," Ryles told AAP.

"So we'll see how we go but it's a lot different talking it and then going out on the field and actually doing it."

Ryles, though, knows that doesn't mean it will be easy for his young team-mates.

"It's going to be a huge challenge," he said.

"They've got one of the better forward packs you'll see in a long time, so it's going to be a massive test for us and a good yardstick to see where we're at."

The 31-year-old former Test front-rower has been impressed with young Roosters Tom Symonds and Boyd Cordoner, who could be called upon to join the likes of Mitchell Aubusson, Frank-Paul Nuuausala, Lopini Paea, Daniel Conn and Nick Kouparitsas in a no-name pack.

"I think there's only about five or six of us over the age of 23 (at the club) so it's certainly a young squad, there's lots of talent and potential here but there's not too many older guys to sort of help out," Ryles said.

"I suppose I'm just sort of helping out towards the back end of my career and helping these younger guys come on a little bit.

"If I'm playing as well as I can and I'm injury free and doing my part for the team, then I'll just try and lead by example but there'll be no big speeches or anything like that, it's not really my type of go."

Ryles, who left St George Illawarra for French side Les Catalans after the 2008 season, admits missing the Roosters' three trials, all wins for the 2009 wooden-spooners, could leave him lacking match fitness.

"There's no doubt I'll be a little underdone," he said.

"Everyone's going to be on a pretty level playing field in the early rounds so I probably won't play as much time."

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