Roosters rookie Lachlan Lam will make his much-anticipated first grade debut after a Cooper Cronk hamstring injury scratched the champion half from Saturday's clash with Manly.
The Tricolours have been granted an NRL exemption to bring Lam into Trent Robinson's side in jersey No. 23 – the same number Cronk wore in his heroic grand final display last season – having not named a back-up playmaker in their original 21-man squad. Cronk has been ruled out with hamstring tightness.
Lam is the son of former Roosters, Queensland and Papua New Guinea favourite Adrian, and recently signed a two-year extension at Bondi despite an approach by Wigan to join his dad in the Super League.
The 20-year-old half has been groomed as an eventual successor to Cronk's No.7 jumper for some time, and now gets his first crack at the top flight opposite incumbent Australian half Daly Cherry-Evans.
Given the Roosters have another six-day turnaround between Saturday's trip to Brookvale and a round three clash with Parramatta, the club is hopeful Cronk's "hamstring tightness" will only sideline him for one week.
Match: Sea Eagles v Roosters
Round 2 -
Venue: Lottoland, Sydney
- LIVE PASS
Speaking prior to Cronk being ruled out, coach Trent Robinson said he would "get more out of" star recruit Angus Crichton after he played just 19 minutes in his club debut against his former team, the Roosters' arch rivals South Sydney last Friday.
Crichton is still working back to full fitness from off-season shoulder surgery and has been named on the bench once more against the Sea Eagles.
The NSW Origin incumbent has been open about his desire to start on the right edge, but has been respectful of club favourite Mitch Aubusson's status.
Robinson played Crichton on the left when bringing him off the pine against the Rabbitohs, and said discussions around the 23-year-old's position in his side would be kept in-house.
"There's a plan around Angus. Angus knows his position and he's been quite open about that," Robinson said.
"He's come here for a reason but he also will play the team role that's needed. We want to develop Angus and improve him constantly as a player and that was our commitment to him when he came here … we want to honour him coming here but also we want to make sure the Roosters are on track as well.
"It's easy for me to stand here and talk about long term but long term's tomorrow night for us. I'll talk to Angus about that but I don't really need to talk to everybody about that.
"He knows our plan. The team knows our plan but long term for us is tomorrow night. That's what we're focused on. We can't wait to go over and improve on last week in Manly."