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Cordner to have say in grand final fate

Sydney Roosters young gun Boyd Cordner will have a deciding voice in whether or not he returns from seven weeks out to play the NRL grand final on Sunday.
Cordner to have say in grand final fate
by AAP

By Ben Horne

SYDNEY, Oct 3 AAP - Sydney Roosters young gun Boyd Cordner will have a deciding voice in whether or not he returns from seven weeks out to play the NRL grand final on Sunday.

Cordner was very close to playing in last week's preliminary final but in the end agreed with coaching staff that he wasn't quite ready.

The same consultancy process will take place ahead of Sunday's decider against Manly as the 21-year-old fights to complete a remarkable comeback from a broken ankle.

Manly and Roosters' players met for the last time before the grand final on Thursday at the Grand Final lunch in Sydney.

Cordner has trained this week and is strongly tipped to play for the tri-colours, while fellow forward Luke O'Donnell is also in contention to return after a hamstring injury.

Coach Trent Robinson admitted he faced the toughest selection calls of his young career, but said he would most likely make them by match-eve on Saturday.

"Just the enormity of the game puts a lot of pressure on these decisions," Robinson said on Thursday.

"People think about these games for the rest of their lives so playing a guy or not playing a guy is really important.

"But we're really comfortable with the selections we are going to make so it hasn't been an issue for us.

"I've left one (of Cordner and O'Donnell) up to game day. But it'll be made up on Saturday.

"They'll go close."

If Cordner or O'Donnell, or both, were to return, then young forwards Dylan Napa and Isaac Liu would be the unlucky men to miss out.

Robinson said if Cordner played he'd be fully fit and wouldn't be compromising his team's chances.

"Everyone sees a 21-year-old but we don't see that. He's got some experience," he said.

"He's a tough man but he's also a realist.

"He helped us make the call last week and he's in the same frame of mind. He's not going to let the boys down by playing if he's not ready."

Robinson said superstar forward Sonny Bill Williams was in no doubt to play despite missing training on Wednesday.

Manly are reportedly facing a crunch decision of their own, with veteran forward Joe Galuvao hoping he can farewell the game in style.

Galuvao has not played since he tore an Achilles tendon early in the season but says he feels right to return. However he has conceded coach Geoff Toovey is unlikely to change the 19 players named.

Robinson said he wouldn't be surprised if Galuvao was a late inclusion on the bench.

"People who get their sources often know what they're talking about. That's an option," Robinson said.




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