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NRL, cricket on collision course over use of SCG

Complicating matters is the fact the SCG doesn’t have a drop-in wicket, meaning the square needs to be prepared for a four-day contest while managing any football commitments around it.

Discussions are expected to escalate between Cricket Australia, Cricket NSW, the NRL, Roosters and venue officials in coming days as they seek to resolve the issue.

The Roosters are still waiting to confirm whether they will play their opening match at the SCG next year due to a potential clash with cricket.

The Roosters are still waiting to confirm whether they will play their opening match at the SCG next year due to a potential clash with cricket.Credit:Getty

The Roosters said a number of home fixtures next season still needed finalising due to venue availability concerns. Most of those won’t be solved until the AFL publishes its fixture, including Sydney Swans home games.

The club said they were hopeful of the relevant parties sorting out the issue of their opening game soon. They don’t have another home match at the SCG scheduled until round four in early April against the Warriors.

The Roosters will return to the neighbouring Sydney Football Stadium once construction at that venue is complete.

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The opening game against the Sea Eagles could boast a number of compelling storylines, including a potential NRL debut for Joseph Suaalii should the Australian Rugby League Commission agree to lower the age limit for the teenager to play first grade.

The Roosters and bitter rivals South Sydney have agreed a fee for the teenager to leave Redfern for Trent Robinson’s top squad, a release which was confirmed on Tuesday. He will still only be 17 when the NRL season begins next March.

The clash could also be Kieran Foran’s first match for Manly since his return to the Sea Eagles, which are still mourning the sudden passing of forward Keith Titmuss after a pre-season conditioning session last week.

The NRL season will start with matches in Melbourne, Newcastle, Brisbane and New Zealand – should an international travel bubble be in place – before its first game in Sydney, which is due to be a twilight kick-off at the SCG.

The Roosters have only lost only four of their 18 matches at the SCG since the start of 2019 and have turned the venue into a fortress while they’re temporarily displaced from the SFS.

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