Morris to return to stretched Roosters

Josh Morris is set to return for the injury-plagued Roosters.
Josh Morris is set to return for the injury-plagued Roosters.

Josh Morris' Sydney Roosters demotion is set to last just one week after more injuries left the NRL club's backline stretched to its absolute limit.

Billy Smith and Matt Ikuvalu became the latest players to go down for the Roosters on Friday night, both hurt in the club's 28-8 win over Newcastle.

Ikuvalu suffered a suspected syndesmosis injury that is likely to rule him out until at least the finals, while Smith suffered a foot blow.

It comes after a foot injury ended Joseph Suaalii's season, the now-retired Brett Morris is also missing from the Roosters' backline that started the year.

Utility back Brad Abbey is also unavailable, quarantining on the Gold Coast after having to fly to Queensland late after a COVID-19 case in his Sydney apartment building.

It means Trent Robinson will either have to blood under-19s development player Moala Graham-Taufa as the sole outside back left in his bubble, or play someone out of position in next week's crucial clash with Parramatta.

"We need to jump on that really quickly," Robinson said,

"Especially in these times, it's not as simple as it seems to go and get a scan and possibly get an operation.

"It's a different world we're living in, So, we're racing the clock there. ,

But in Morris the Roosters coach at least has a safe option for one of the outside backs spots.

The veteran was dropped for one of the few times in his 321-game career ahead of Friday's clash after a sub-par run of form for the 34-year-old.

"Without a doubt, Josh will be straight back in there," Robinson said.

"He's all in, he understood this week.

"I always have (had a lot of faith). That's why I said in the press conference before the game, it was hard (dropping him).

"It's not easy. It's just as much my fault because I couldn't get him to play the way that I wanted over the last month."

Australian Associated Press