Morris ready to fill the void for Roosters
Sydney Roosters veteran Brett Morris has put his hand up to fill Latrell Mitchell's centre position after the serious injury to boom youngster Billy Smith.
Morris has played just a handful of his 256 top grade games in the centres with the bulk coming last year when he featured in four games there for the Roosters. The 33-year-old is in line to start at centre for the Roosters World Club Challenge match against St Helens next month with veteran Mitch Aubusson another contender.
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"I'm comfortable anywhere," Morris said.
"You have to do the training and the base that allows you to put your hand up to play in that position. One thing I've been comfortable in defence. I understand the game quite well and I know how to break teams down.
"When you get older you enjoy being out of your comfort zone. I haven't played a lot of centre but it's one of those things you have to do week in week out."
Smith suffered his second ACL injury after a training collision with fellow centre Joey Manu. Following Mitchell's exit, the depth of the Roosters outside backs is tested. Veteran winger Ryan Hall is expected to be fit in time for round one with Matt Ikuvalu and rookie outside back Asu Kepaoa the other options.
"I've played a lot of football outside some quality centres," Morris said. "Where I have, I have been able to pick their brains and their mentalities around certain events and field possessions."
Morris scored three tries for the Roosters at centre in last years World Club Challenge. Roosters co-captain Boyd Cordner said it was "tough" watching Smith go down.
"We didn't know the extent of the injury until after the session," Cordner said. "We saw him go down but it wasn't like your typical ACL. He got up and walked around and finished the session. They decided it was right for him to get a scan.
"If you speak to anyone who has had a serious injury, it's devastating especially as a young kid. He is a good kid and strong character. He is in good hands.
"He was training the most out of any of the boys filling in there (at centre). He was looking comfortable."
Meanwhile, the Roosters will wear a special World Club Challenge jersey to raise funds for the NSW Rural Fire Service.
Roosters chief executive Joe Kelly was to be joined by RFS volunteers on Wednesday to launch the jersey but they were called away because of the increased fire dangers.
"You'll see their logo appearing on the front of the jersey and on the back is their website," Kelly said. "What was so clear to us when this natural disaster unfolded is the work of all these volunteers is amazing. We want to show our support of them in our small way. One hundred per cent of the revenue will go to RFS. ISC have donated the jerseys we are wearing and produced the limited edition jerseys free of charge."
The players will sign their match-worn jerseys before being auctioned off while fans can purchase the kit.