Roosters in need of good Friend

ROOSTERS hooker Jake Friend will not be held back in Friday night's must-win semi-final against North Queensland despite suffering a punctured lung less than three weeks ago.

Assistant coach Jason Taylor said the former Noosa hooker needed to be at his explosive best to help prevent the reigning premiers from dropping out of the finals with back-to-back losses.

"He just adds that little bit of extra initiative to our game," Taylor told club media. "He knows the game plan, but when he sees something he likes he takes it and we need him to do that this week."

Friend had been in career-best attacking form before the injury.

He tried to return for last Saturday's qualifying final against the Penrith Panthers - the Roosters lost 19-18 - but had not fully recovered from the injury, which happened during Sydney's 24-12 win over Melbourne on August 30.

"He's a special guy - he's very tough," Taylor said.

The Roosters have also been boosted by the return of State of Origin forward Aidan Guerra, who spent a week on the sidelines following a one-week suspension.

The returning Queenslanders will force back-up hooker Mitch Aubusson and forward Frank-Paul Nu'uausala on to the bench.


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