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Tigers inspiring Roosters rebuild

David Beniuk 10/03/2011 06:27:03 PM Comments (0)

Sydney Roosters boss Steve Noyce has revealed rebuilding the NRL club has been partly inspired by rivals the Wests Tigers.

Speaking as the Roosters confirmed the re-signing of in-demand centre Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Noyce declared the club's player-poaching days were over as they adopted a Tigers-like youth policy.

Noyce is a former Wests Tigers chief executive who oversaw the contracting of much of the current crop of stars at that club.

"In the next couple of years you won't see us necessarily aggressive in the player market outside of our club," Noyce said.

"I obviously had the honour of previously working at another club where there was a similar approach ... the Farahs, the Marshalls, the Gibbses, the Heighingtons, the Fultons that have been there a long time and have that strong culture."

Coinciding with the signing of coach Brian Smith at the end of 2009, the direction has already begun paying dividends with the Roosters rocketing from wooden-spooners to grand finalists last year.

It's a far cry from the days of luring big names like Brad Fittler, Braith Anasta and Willie Mason but the Roosters' hierarchy are backing it to build a strong roster under the NRL salary cap.

"It will be a matter of those younger guys learning from the older ones so that we don't lose all the stuff that makes a footy club tick, about experience and control of emotions and how to play in big games," Smith said.

"The Kenny-Dowalls, the (Mitchell) Pearces, the Jake Friends, Frank Paul Nuuausala, those sorts of guys that we all have signed recently with our club are in the early to mid-20s.

"They've got maybe one, two, three years left of learning from the Anastas and (Jason) Ryles and (Anthony) Minichiellos so that we don't have that vacuum where some clubs get to where they've got too many young guys and not enough older ones to keep a lid on things.

"We think we've got a good mix at the moment and it's partly my job to make sure that that sort of transfer of knowledge takes place between our older players and our younger."

Kenny-Dowall will wear the tri-colours until the end of 2015 after signing a deal reportedly worth $1.4 million.

The 23-year-old will have a chance to show what he's worth when he marks South Sydney superstar Greg Inglis for the first time in Friday night's season-opening blockbuster at the Sydney Football Stadium.

Smith isn't buying suggestions Inglis lacks fitness after an injury-disrupted off-season.

"Some of those photographs that have been displayed are not particularly attractive but I've been known to come up not so good in some of those photos myself," Smith said.

"He's amongst the best ever strike players I think that I've seen.

"They're going to be there for everyone to see this weekend, Shaun and Greg Inglis.

"Those kinds of match-ups are quite often about tryscoring plays, they quite often lead directly to points so it will be a big one."

The Roosters will be without Dally M medallist Todd Carney (groin), but expect him back for next week's clash with Manly.

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