Lodge unleashed in crucial Roosters clash

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Matt Lodge will begin his playing career at a third NRL club in little more than 12 months when the Sydney Roosters play St George Illawarra.

The Roosters will unleash their new middle off the bench, just weeks after the Warriors let him leave and sign with his new side for the rest of the season.

It's a particularly timely addition for the Roosters, with Queensland enforcer Lindsay Collins ruled out after copping a head knock in Wednesday's State of Origin series decider.

The Roosters can't wait any longer to make their run, sitting 10th on the ladder and a game outside finals contention.

Coach Trent Robinson said Lodge could bring an extra element to his side while also showcasing his talents to a potential suitor on Saturday.

"I like the speed at which we're playing the game and I feel like we're starting to accelerate our game with guys like Egan Butcher and Connor (Watson) bring that, but then (Lodge) is a big body," he told reporters.

"We're missing obviously Lindsay, Jared (Waerea-Hargreaves) has been out for a long time, so just having that big physical body in the middle of the field is important in our game as well.

"There's obviously no promises there from us, this is a good opportunity for (Lodge) to come into an environment that we think he's going to like, we think we can add some value to him and play some good footy."

NSW representatives James Tedesco, Daniel Tupou and Angus Crichton will all back up from their loss on Wednesday night, while Dragons skipper Ben Hunt is also expected to back up after his sensational outing for the Maroons.

The Dragons will be without Tariq Sims through suspension, while winger Mikaele Ravalawa has done a hamstring.

The sit ninth at 8-8, level on wins with eight-ranked Manly, although their point-difference (-84) could present a problem in the back-third of the campaign.

Heading into the genuine four-point game, Robinson admitted it had been a rocky campaign but hoped his Roosters had finally found a sustainable formula.

"Probably not for all Roosters fans, but it's been a really interesting year for us," he told reporters.

"I've really enjoyed we've played around a bit this year, we're trying to play our best footy and we're trying to win premierships again.

"To do that, we've tried some things this year and some have come off and we've found some stuff, and some haven't come off.

"But I feel like we're getting clear on how we want to play this year and what those combinations look like."

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