Broncos coach Kevin Walters responds as Trent Robinson declares interest in Selwyn Cobbo

Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson discusses replacement options for outgoing halfback Luke Keary.

Trent Robinson has revealed the search to regenerate and energise his team has begun, as the Sydney Roosters prepare to lose a number of experienced players at the end of the season.

The Roosters have suffered major losses across their top squad, with Joey Manu, Joseph Suaalii, Jared Waerea-Hargraves and Luke Keary all announcing they will not be returning in the Tricolours for the 2025 season.

Star five-eighth Keary announced his retirement from the game earlier this month, opting to end his $800,000-a-season contract one season early.

Keary’s departure from the Roosters has accelerated the Roosters’ progression plan of moving Sandon Smith into the halves alongside Sam Walker, however, the coach revealed he intends to chase top talent from outside Bondi.

The three-time premiership-winning coach said the Roosters were in the market for a game-breaker.

The name of Queensland Origin star Selwyn Cobbo, who will be free to negotiate with rival clubs from November 1 this year, has caught the attention of Robinson, with the coach confirming the Roosters would be open to signing him.

“Yeah, obviously, you know the talent that he is, as soon as he came on to the scene you could see what a quality player he was and will be,” said Robinson.

“That hasn’t come up in discussion… that’s not on the radar at the moment, but [we’re] always looking at the high-quality players.

“I know his ability to play a few different positions is key, but we’re also on a path there with some of our young centres.”

Broncos coach Kevin Walters responded to speculation about Cobbo’s future, stating that the club will try their “very best to keep” keep him in Brisbane.

“Nah, he will be staying here. Look at the environment here, it’s a beautiful place to play rugby league,” Walters said.

“That’s the plan at this stage – they have been two very good players coming through for us and I feel Kotoni is in the best form of his career, particularly with his involvements and the way he is influencing games.

“We’ll do our very best to keep both of them.”

Watch the 2024 NRL premiership live and free on Nine and 9Now.
Robinson added that an experienced playmaker to replace Keary was a priority.

”That would be ideal [to recruit experience] if the player is right. If it’s not, then we’re not going to put someone in front of Sandon that’s not of high quality,” Robinson said.

“If we think someone is really experienced and can do that [it would be worth looking at]… but we are in May, and for next year most of the time they’re all signed.

“So, that’s difficult there, but we also really believe in Sandon. If we have to go young and develop them through the next year, then we will.”

However, Robinson ruled out Rabbitohs halfback Lachlan Ilias as a potential option for the club, after the 23-year-old was granted permissions to negotiate deals with rivals due to the club’s impending signing of highly rated young St Helens halfback Lewis Dodd.

“[Ilias is a] really good player, but similar position [also young] to those two [Smith and Walker] as well, and so that doesn’t really line up as much even though he is an NRL player,” Robinson said.

Robinson also responded to speculation linking gun halfback Sam Walker to a move elsewhere, with the Broncos considered an obvious destination due to the age of Adam Reynolds and the fact that Walker is a Queenslander.

However, the Roosters coach is not concerned by interest elsewhere.

”There’s a challenge to keep good players, I think that’s always the case, but I think Sam’s been quite open, we’ve been quite open,” he said.

“We’ve been on a path there four years with Sam, we’ve been very clear about him being our long-term half and developing into that. That plan hasn’t changed for us, and as far as I know it hasn’t changed for Sam.”

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*