Roosters greats Luke Ricketson and Ian Schubert say the NRL club can be the first to claim back-to-back titles in over 20 years.
Sydney Roosters greats Luke Ricketson and Ian Schubert say the tricolours can become the first side to claim back-to-back premierships in over 20 years.
The Roosters begin their quest for successive titles against bitter neighbourhood rivals South Sydney in the NRL season opener on Thursday, a feat last achieved by Brisbane in 1992-93.
Ricketson enjoyed premiership success with the Roosters in 2002 and Schubert in 1975.
The tricolours most capped player with 301 first grade appearances, Ricketson fell short of the double at the final hurdle in losing the 2003 grand final against Penrith.
But he believes this year’s side can go one better.
“As a group, as a team, as a club I think they can be better than last year,” Ricketson told AAP.
“The club this time last year was just finding players, Sonny (Bill Williams) and Michael Jennings were coming into the fold, with a new coach (Trent Robinson) and a new coaching squad.
“There was a new CEO (Brian Canavan) and a new back office too.
“This year it is reasonably settled, although the World Cup has put it back a few weeks, so I think the preparation is certainly better than last year.
“The halves are in place … James Maloney had only just joined the club this time last year.
“So I really believe it could be better than last year.”
Schubert was a member of the last Roosters side that claimed back-to-back premierships in 1974-75. He joined the Roosters in 1975 and played fullback in their record 38-0 win over St George in that season’s decider in a team captained by Arthur Beetson and considered one of the best ever.
Schubert ran for an incredible 300 metres that day and despite representing Australia is these days perhaps better known as the NRL’s former salary cap auditor. It was a post he stepped down from last year.
Schubert says the Roosters have a team capable of repeating the feats of Jack Gibson’s 1974-75 sides.
“I think they will do very well, they have a good side, every other club will tell you the same thing,” Schubert said.
“It would be fair to say they have a very good roster.”