The Sydney Roosters are expected to be back to full strength for the first time this NRL season against Parramatta on Friday night as they search for a silver lining to their disastrous 2016 campaign.
With halfback Mitchell Pearce back to his best after his return from a calf injury, Latrell Mitchell has been cleared of a knee problem and Boyd Cordner is expected to make his comeback from a foot injury.
The NSW back-rower underwent a fitness test on Thursday and while the club is cautious of exacerbating the problem and forcing him to undergo surgery, he is expected to take the field at Pirtek Stadium.
All year injury and suspension have battered the eastern suburbs club as they have slumped from minor premiers to 15th spot with nine games remaining.
Roosters coach Trent Robinson couldn’t shy away from Pearce’s importance to the team as they aim to end an otherwise forgettable season on a high.
“We’re not quite the NFL with the quarterbacks and the importance of them but we’re not far off either,” Robinson said.
“Halfbacks are key and we’ve seen that in competitions over the last few years and the key of the big names in those positions.
“Mitchell’s no different than that for us. He’s missed a large part of the season but he’s key to our direction and our attacking play and kicking game.”
While they must win each of their remaining games to be any chance of making the finals, there is a consensus things aren’t as bad at their Moore Park headquarters as their spot on the table would suggest.
“They’re 15th on the table but they’re a much better side than that,” Arthur said.
“With Mitch Pearce back in the side, he made a big difference to them last week. (Jared Waerea-Hargreaves) is just starting to hit his straps with some strong carries.
“They’re a very physical forward pack and we’re going to have to be at our best tomorrow night.”