The Sydney Roosters have big decisions to make over the future of their halves pairing, club icon Brad Fittler says.
Fittler questioned whether Luke Keary might be moved to halfback for next season, making official what is already the case: that he is the team’s chief organiser as well as their primary playmaker. The question then is who best fits beside him.
Kyle Flanagan showed promise without being entirely convincing at No.7 this season, leaving the door ajar for Lachlan Lam, for whom he was briefly dropped. Brilliant teen Sam Walker has been dubbed the long-term option to partner Keary.
“What they do with Luke Keary is pretty important, whether he stays five-eighth or goes at halfback,” Fittler said on The Sunday Footy Show.
“There’s Kyle Flanagan obviously, there’s Sam Walker, you’ve got Lachie Lam. That’s going to be a huge decision for Robbo going forward.”
The Roosters ran out of gas against Canberra on Friday night, exiting the finals in consecutive matches after winning the past two premierships.
Trent Robinson’s side have been magnificent standard-bearers but now they’ve back to the drawing board. Robinson shouldered the blame for their downfall and will no doubt think deeply on how his side will look next year.
Keary is a champion – a triple premiership winner and Clive Churchill Medallist who has played for Australia, and signed a three-year extension this season. Who plays next to him, in the club’s second season post-Cooper Cronk, remains to be seen.
“I just think they’ve been so incredible,” Fittler said of the Roosters.
“The standard they’ve played the last couple of years … we’ve always spoken about Melbourne raising the standard of play, I think the Roosters have really added to that.”
The Roosters are still expected to have a raft of NSW State of Origin representatives; Boyd Cordner, James Tedesco, Keary, Angus Crichton and Daniel Tupou. Another man touted as a Blues pick, Victor Radley, was lost to an ACL injury early in the season.
Jake Friend and Lindsay Collins are likely picks for Queensland.