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McNamara is Roosters 'secret weapon'

England coach Steve McNamara has emerged as the Sydney Roosters' secret weapon in the lead-up to their World Club Challenge clash with Wigan.
McNamara is Roosters 'secret weapon'
by AAP

By James Macsmith

AUCKLAND, February 17 AAP - England coach Steve McNamara has emerged as the Sydney Roosters' secret weapon in the lead-up to their World Club Challenge clash with Wigan.

The Super League champions have enjoyed a better preparation for the international club showpiece than the NRL premiers, playing two games with their full squad against Huddersfield and the New Zealand Warriors.

The Roosters duties and players have been split between the NRL Nines and Saturday's trial match win over a below-strength Newcastle in Wyong.

McNamara joined the Roosters in the off-season as an assistant to head coach Trent Robinson on a two-year-deal.

His intimate knowledge of the players in the Wigan side, including England stars Josh Charnley, Liam Farrell, Michael McIllorum and Sean O'Loughlin, could be a crucial factor in a Roosters' win.

"I think Mac has fitted in really well at the Roosters," Robinson said.

"He is a great coach and a great man, he has slotted in really comfortably.

"He has brought a lot of experience to our coaching team, so it is a great addition for us.

"With the time that I spent over there in the Super League coaching against Wigan and definitely with his time with England it will be advantageous for us heading into the World Club challenge.'

Roosters grand final hero Shaun Kenny-Dowall, who took part in the inaugural Auckland Nines, says the tricolours will look to overcome their interrupted preparation.

"It's not ideal," he said.

"But we have been training for 10 weeks and we have been preparing for 10 weeks, so it is something we are looking forward too.

"It's great to be playing in this game."




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