AAP Rugby

Roosters primed for WCC clash with Wigan

By AAP Newswire

Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson has confirmed he'll field the strongest side available to him for the World Club Challenge showdown against Wigan.

The Roosters have been preparing for Monday morning's (0600 AEDT) clash against the Super League champions in Paris and will arrive in Manchester on Thursday night aiming to tie Wigan's record of four world club titles.

Halfback Cooper Cronk will start for the first time since shoulder surgery with Luke Keary to fill the five-eighth spot, meaning there will be no place in the side for Lachlan Lam, son of Wigan coach Adrian Lam.

Latrell Mitchell is unavailable due to his Indigenous All Stars involvement and new signing Ryan Hall is continuing his rehabilitation from ACL surgery.

That should allow veteran Brett Morris to make his debut on the wing.

"Obviously Latrell is not here but it will be a full-strength team," Robinson told AAP at France's institute of sport, which has been the team's training base all this week.

"Cooper is fully recovered, he has been doing contact for a while.

"It is a two-month recovery and he had the operation in October and was back by January.

"It was just about building up that contact and he has done that for five or six weeks."

"We've brought Lachlan out with us because we think very highly of him but it is going to be pretty hard for him to start against Wigan, but I am sure his time will come."

The NRL premiers enjoyed an opposed session against second-tier Super League side Toulouse on Wednesday morning which was followed by an afternoon of indoor defensive drills between both squads led by defensive coach Craig Fitzgibbon.

Toulouse are the club where Robinson cut his teeth as a coach and it's a city close to his heart given it is where he met his wife and where they'll eventually move back to with their three children.

On Tuesday, Robinson took his players to the site of the Battle of The Somme where thousands of ANZACS lost their lives during World War I.

"We went to Pozieres, Villers Bretonneux and Le Hamel, where a lot of ANZACS fought," Robinson said.

"A lot of the things we get to do back in Australia and live the life we lead were because of the choices people made over 100 years ago.

"We are here to provide entertainment every weekend for rugby league followers and we take pride in that.

"But our job in the week is to grow men and make them better people and role models and open their eyes to stuff that has shaped our world.

"It is important to offer that up and when you can do both you have to take up that opportunity."