The Roosters suspect a recent mumps outbreak started from the wedding party of former back rower Aidan Guerra, with the scare deepening after a young player was prevented from flying home from a team camp in NZ after displaying symptoms.
7th Tackle can reveal teenage recruit Billy Smith remains in Queenstown, where the extended NRL squad spent last week completing a military-style training drill and bonding exercises.
While his teammates returned home over the weekend, Smith was ordered to stay across the Tasman for another week amid fears he could spread the virus to fellow airline passengers.
It's believed the 18-year-old – poached from junior rugby powerhouse Scots College last year – showed signs of swelling in his face.
Subsequent tests have since come back negative, but Smith has nonetheless been told to wait-out the entire week as a precaution.
Two other Roosters players are known to have been struck down.
Veteran back rower Mitchell Aubusson was the first over two weeks ago, while star fullback signing James Tedesco is currently in quarantine after being diagnosed shortly after returning from Queenstown.
With several staff members and Under 20s players also suffering, the Roosters have attempted to trace the source of the outbreak.
Club officials now believe it may have started at Guerra’s wedding celebrations, which were held across several days in Byron Bay over the New Year break.
Guerra has joined the Knights, but invited a number of Roosters players, along with his old coach, Trent Robinson.
There has also been a high number of mumps cases in the Eastern Suburbs of late.
The Roosters have done everything possible to limit the spread of the virus, immunizing every player and staff member and thoroughly cleaning their Moore Park offices and training venue.
The club contests its first trial on Saturday night at Penrith, but will field a relatively inexperienced squad with Blake Ferguson and Dylan Napa the highest profile inclusions.