BY CURTIS WOODWARD
They include Kiwi internationals, Junior Kangaroos, a former Intrust Super Cup Player of the Year and ‘the next Sonny Bill Williams’.
What do they have in common?
All of them missed the majority of 2018 due to injury.
Remember these guys?
ANDRE SAVELIO – BRONCOS
The gun British forward signed with the Broncos for the 2018 season from Warrington on a two-year deal with some dubbing the 22-year-old the next ‘Sonny Bill Williams’. Standing at 188cm and weighing 110kg, Savelio was all set to push for a top 17 spot at Red Hill until a cruel injury blow ended his first NRL campaign. Savelio was taken from the field in Brisbane’s trial win over CQ Capras with it later being confirmed he had done his ACL.
CURTIS SIRONEN – SEA EAGLES
After languishing in Wests Tigers reserve grade, Sironen found a new home at Brookvale with Manly-Warringah. Things began to click for the wide-running second rower until the injury bug curtailed yet another year for the son of Balmain legend, Paul. We’d barely gotten into the 2018 season when Sironen went down with a knee injury – scratching him for the remainder of the premiership. It would be his eighth surgery in six short years.
NATHANIEL ROACHE – WARRIORS
Warriors coach Stephen Kearney was all set to make Roache the team’s second string hooker behind Issac Luke when the club’s 2016 Rookie of the Year received the horrible news that his season was over before it had even begun. Roache was returning from an Achilles tendon injury only to go down in training prior to 2018 kicking off.
JOSH CHUDLEIGH – COWBOYS
Young Cowboys hooker Chudleigh was scratched from coach Paul Green’s plans after a third ACL injury in a match in the Intrust Super Cup in April. He was returning from knee surgery but re-injured it only three weeks into his comeback. A former Cowboys NYC Player of the Year, QLD Cup Player of the Year and once dubbed “too good for QLD Cup” – Chudleigh was not offered a new deal by North Queensland.
LACHLAN CROKER – SEA EAGLES
Another with a season-ending ACL injury. The Junior Kangaroo won the race to Manly’s starting five-eigth position alongside skipper Daly Cherry-Evans only to go down against the Knights in round 8. It would be his last match of the year.
DYLAN EDWARDS – PANTHERS
Groomed as Penrith’s long term fullback at the foot of the mountains even before Matt Moylan left for Cronulla. The livewire was taken from the field in Penrith’s round 8 win over Canterbury-Bankstown and wasn’t sighted again in 2018. It was revealed the following week he would need a total shoulder reconstruction. The Panthers went on without him though, making it into the second week of the finals with Dallin Watene-Zalezniak starring in the custodian’s role.
SAM MCKENDRY – PANTHERS
The big Kiwi bookend should have played so much more footy than he has with yet another injury costing him his 2018 season. McKendry suffered a torn ACL in his right knee during Penrith’s round two victory over South Sydney. It meant a torturously long year on the sideline after missing the entire 2017 premiership as well.
This appeared to be the tackle during which Sam McKendry suffered his ACL injury last weekend. He continued to play on for 14 minutes after this, brave effort.— NRL PHYSIO (@nrlphysio) March 21, 2018
Shows that video doesn’t always tell the story, with no clear injury mechanism. Hoping for a positive outcome for him! pic.twitter.com/v2jHnvu1eK
One of Newcastle’s big off season recruits with all the potential in the world. Moga was earmarked as a superstar of the future when he debuted for the Roosters back in 2012 but has had terrible luck with injury during stints at the Chooks, Cowboys, Broncos and now the Knights. Moga had already ruptured the ACL three times in his left knee and was struck down in just the fourth week of Newcastle’s 2018 campaign. It was then revealed he would go in for dual knee reconstructions.