Glute strain could rule out NRL superstar from much-anticipated clash.
The NRL could be denied its biggest draw-card to the Sydney Roosters and Canterbury Bulldogs, with news Sonny Bill Williams might be left out due to a glute injury.
Williams failed to finish the Roosters’ final training session after he pulled up sore, with scans revealing the strain, leaving his status in doubt.
While Williams has played the Bulldogs, the side he walked out on in 2008, before this season, it will be the first time in five years he has played in front of the Canterbury fans at their home ground.
Despite being named, and playing all of this season in the back-row for the Roosters, Williams ran several ball drills before his injury, in the halves.
If he does play some time close to the ruck he is likely to be paired with Daniel Mortimer, with Mitchell Pearce and James Maloney in camp with the NSW Blues ahead of State of Origin II.
The possible switch of Williams into the halves does not come as a surprise to Canterbury coach Des Hasler.
“He stepped in there and played a bit of first receiver already. That’s an option that (Sydney Roosters coach) Trent (Robinson) could look at that,” Hasler said.
“There is an experienced player in Daniel Mortimer on the other side. So that side’s taken care of. But there are some handy people who have been running around in their premier league side as well. They have a bit of versatility there.
“He’s one of their strike players. I thought he was very good in a beaten side against the Warriors. Again this week, with key players missing in certain positions, a lot of the responsibility will fall on Sonny and he’ll respond.
“He’s a player that we need to watch carefully and mark up against.”
The Roosters will be looking to bounce back from their surprise last-start loss to the New Zealand Warriors as they look to solidify their place in the NRL top three.
Canterbury have been on a roll and will be looking to extend their current winning streak to five, as their title fortunes continue to take a turn for the better, after their average state to the year.