Sydney Roosters largely intact for Wigan clash
Only two players from the Sydney Roosters NRL premiership winning line-up of last season will be missing when they clash with Wigan in the World Club Challenge on Saturday.
Roosters coach Trent Robinson named a 20-man squad on Wednesday for the Allianz Stadium showdown with the Super League champions. Only the retired Luke O'Donnell and injured Kiwi star Roger Tuivasa-Sheck are missing from the 17 who defeated Manly in last year's grand final.
Tuivasa-Sheck, who suffered a leg injury in the World Cup final, is due back for the Roosters' NRL opener against South Sydney on March 6.
Grand final hero Shaun Kenny-Dowall moves across to the wing to cover the loss of Tuivasa-Sheck with Mitchell Aubusson slotting into the centres.
Robinson has named an extended bench to accommodate for the absence of O'Donnell, including France international Remi Casty who is set to make his Roosters debut.
In a disrupted preparation for the NRL premiers Mitchell Pearce, Jake Friend, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Aidan Guerra, Kane Evans, Daniel Tupou and Dylan Napa all took part in last weekend's Auckland Nines.
The rest of the squad played in the club's big trial win over an under-strength Newcastle in Wyong.
Wigan coach Shaun Wane also named his 19-man squad on Wednesday for the first international club showpiece in Australia in 20 years.
England international lock Sean O'Loughlin returns from a hamstring injury for Wigan. His World Cup teammate Josh Charnley is back after a hernia operation.
Sam Powell is the only injury absentee for the tourists with an ankle injury.
Wigan have had a mixed preparation for match, losing their opening Super League match against Huddersfield in a big upset before defeating a weakened New Zealand Warriors outfit in a trial last week.
Roosters officials are anticipating a crowd of around 30,000 for the game.
Roosters: Anthony Minichiello (c), Daniel Tupou, Michael Jennings, Mitchell Aubusson, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, James Maloney, Mitchell Pearce, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Jake Friend, Sam Moa, Boyd Cordner, Sonny Bill Williams, Frank-Paul Nuuausala. Interchange: Daniel Mortimer, Aidan Guerra, Dylan Napa, Remi Casty, Kane Evans, Taane Milne, Kurt Kara.
Wigan (squad): John Bateman, Matt Bowen, Joe Burgess, Josh Charnley, Tony Clubb, Dom Crosby, Gil Dudson, Liam Farrell, Ben Flower, Anthony Gelling, Darrell Goulding, Blake Green, Jack Hughes, Michael McIlorum, Sean O'Loughlin, Eddy Pettybourne, Dan Sarginson, Matty Smith, Scott Taylor.