Robinson’s Roosters wary of Wilkin and Walsh

Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson is unequivocal when it comes to identifying which players he sees as St Helens‘ main threats in the World Club Series clash on Friday.

The former Catalans tactician sees halfback Luke Walsh as Saints’ main playmaker, with Wilkin adding a good variety of threats, along with his huge experience.

“They know the conditions well,” Robinson told Love Rugby League.

Luke Walsh orchestrates their team, and has done, except for injury, over the last couple of years.

“They also have some key players who have been around a long time in Jon Wilkin and James Roby.

“They’re two of the best players in the English game and the international game. We’ve got a lot of respect for them.”

Robinson also expects Saints hooker James Roby to play in the game, despite rival coach Keiron Cunningham ruling out the England dummy half.

“I’d say he’ll play, though, with a rib problem. He’ll come back in, whether they say it or not,” he said.

“Jon’s got a lot of variety in his game. He carries strongly, he’ll pass and he’ll kick.

“There is some variety in the way that they play.

“Hopefully we can put pressure on them in our Roosters style, but we’ve got to be careful about what they can do.”

Robinson is looking forward to seeing how an unfamiliar situation tests his players, with him seeing the World Club Series as a chance to broaden the experience of his squad, especially the younger members.

“Every season and every game throws up different challenges, whether it’s an away trip in Australia, or injuries, or challenges locally,” he explained.

“But coming away, we’ve got different grounds, players we haven’t played against, obviously the cold, and things like that.

“But in the end we play rugby league. There’s no excuses.

“So there’s a lot of external differences, but it’s a great thing to challenge players to learn how to go and produce with all the changes going on around them – sleeping, time changes – they’ve got to go and deliver on a rugby league pitch.

“That’s good development for players. That’s really important in helping young players grow and understand the challenges at the big end of the year when it comes to finals as well.

“Cohesion is always strong in our team. We’re a tight bunch. Obviously, where we come from, there aren’t local players.

“So everybody that comes in spends a lot of time together. We’ve just gone to Dubai on the way here, and spent another six days together, and we’re raring to go.”

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