Roosters captain Cordner rested from WCC

Boyd Cordner is looking ahead to the NRL season opener rather than the World Club Challenge.
Boyd Cordner is looking ahead to the NRL season opener rather than the World Club Challenge.

Sydney Roosters captain Boyd Cordner is being rested and will miss the club's World Club Challenge match against St Helens on Sunday.

Cordner has endured a mammoth workload in recent years, including back-to-back premiership runs, as well as State of Origin and Kangaroos campaigns.

"Long term we think this is the best way to go. It's really hard to miss a game like the world club challenge but it's been a big few years," the 27-year-old Cordner who is entering his 10th NRL season, told News Corp.

"We're looking at the bigger picture.

"I'll be fresh mentally and physically for round one."

The Roosters are currently in Barcelona preparing for a shot at consecutive WCC crowns, having defeated Wigan 20-8 last year.

Cordner is set to be the fourth player missing from their NRL grand-final triumph over Canberra, including the retired Cooper Cronk and departed Latrell Mitchell.

Hooker Sam Verills was left behind in Australia and played in the nines.

The Roosters have also signalled a possible long-term replacement for Mitchell, with Angus Crichton a shock option to play at left centre.

Roosters coach Trent Robinson claimed Crichton, who played centres in rugby union, could be one of league's best three-quarters.

"He's certainly fast enough. If he settles there and puts his mind to it he could become one of the best centres in the competition," Robinson said.

Mitch Aubusson and Sitili Tupouniua are expected to start in the second row.

The Roosters face St Helens, the reigning Super League champions who currently sit top of the table with two wins from their opening three games.

They boast a number of former NRL players, including Lachlan Coote, Kevin Naiqama, Zeb Taia, Dominique Peyroux and Joseph Paulo.

They also have a new coach in current Tonga mentor and former Newcastle assistant Kristian Woolf, who took over new Gold Coast coach Justin Holbrook.

They also have a handful of English internationals, including Tommy Makinson, Jonny Lomax, Alem Walmsley, James Roby and Luke Thompson.

Australian Associated Press