Roosters rally around co-captain Friend

·2-min read

Jake Friend has been a warrior for the Sydney Roosters across 264 NRL games but the prospect of an early retirement could be one of the toughest things he's faced.

Roosters head coach Trent Robinson and Friend were to meet on Tuesday for serious discussions over his playing future after suffering three concussions in six games - the last in round one this year.

In high spirits at training around his teammates, Friend is privately battling a decision on whether to end his career for his long-term health.

Not even close friend Jared Waerea-Hargreaves knows when or if Friend will announce his retirement this week, but said it's been a difficult time for the Roosters co-captain.

"I'm not sure where he's at right now, but he's in the right hands," Waerea-Hargreaves said on Tuesday.

"He's seen a few specialists with Robbo last week and they're going to address it this week.

"We're just here as mates, just trying to comfort him in the right way.

"He has a decision to make and he'll make it in the way that he needs.

"For myself I've been with him for 10 years now.

"The position that he's in is a tough one, he's been a warrior for us at the Roosters and to go out not on his own terms is the disappointing part.

"He's got a family now, he's a new father and there's bigger things to life than just footy.

The 31-year-old is off contract at the end and it's understood the club have already started discussions about a post-career role to keep him involved with the team, possibly in a mentoring position.

Waerea-Hargreaves backs Friend to make the right call for his family and for himself.

"(These past few weeks) would have been so tough for him, having his little boy is a good distraction to go home to but I also think he's coming in here every day with the right attitude," he said.

"He's still running around and training and walking around with a big smile on his face like he does every day."