Jake Friend

Watson 'Friend-zoned' despite strong showing

The 27-year-old hadn't missed a game in nearly two years but was forced to sit out the Roosters' fourth-straight win after he copped a knock to the mouth in the final minute of the Round 3 clash against the Panthers.

"I got hit with something – an elbow or something – and it pushed my three front teeth in," he said on Monday morning.

"I went and got them pulled back and now I've got a wire holding them in place. The dentist said that should keep them there and hopefully I don't get a whack and lose my front teeth.

Friend backs Pearce to shine

But 12 months is a long time in footy, and having changed his life for the better the 27-year-old's future is now secure after inking a new two-year deal that will see him stay at the Roosters until the end of 2019. 

It's a terrific comeback story and one that will likely see Pearce finish as a one-club man having made his debut for the Roosters back in 2007.

Roosters co-captain Jake Friend said Pearce's decision to commit to the club a week out from the new season was a massive boon for a side desperate to make amends for their 15th-place finish last year.  

Friend a chance to lead All Star cast

The Roosters captain was named starting hooker in Mal Meninga's side for the February 10 showpiece event and is a strong candidate to lead the side onto the park with the 'C' next to his name. 

Fresh from the Four Nations tour that saw him make his Kangaroos debut, Friend said the All Stars captaincy wasn't something he had considered, and was more focused on getting to play alongside some of the NRL's most talented stars.