Sonny Bill Williams will make his NRL return for the Sydney Roosters from the interchange bench in Thursday's season opener at Allianz Stadium.

The New Zealand Rugby World Cup winner, who walked out on Canterbury midway through the 2008 NRL season, will wear the No.16 shirt against South Sydney.

Williams missed both of the Roosters' trial matches as he recovers from a torn pectoral muscle and he is also nursing a knee problem.

However, Roosters coach Trent Robinson has selected the brilliant back-rower on a seven-man bench in a side that also includes new signings Michael Jennings, Luke O'Donnell and James Maloney.


Team: Anthony Minichiello, Daniel Tupou, Michael Jennings, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, James Maloney, Mitchell Pearce, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves Jake Friend, Sam Moa, Aidan Guerra, Mitchell Aubusson, Frank-Paul Nuuausala. Interchange Daniel Mortimer, Martin Kennedy, Sonny Bill Williams, Luke O'Donnell, Boyd Cordner, Michael Oldfield, Tinirau Arona. (three to be omitted).


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