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Radley vows to lead with actions in 2022

True Blue Victor Radley is a man on a mission – getting back to being the best No.13 he can be while trying to avoid the NRL judiciary charge sheets at the same time.

Radley enters his sixth NRL season in 2022 and turns 24 two days after the Roosters play the Knights at the SCG in Round 1.

Sitting on 78 NRL games he has a real chance to reach the 100-match milestone this year.

He also has an excellent chance of finally being promoted from the Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues extended squads (in 2019 and 2021) into coach Brad Fittler’s team.

But it all depends on injuries and discipline.

A ruptured ACL in Round 7 of 2020 ended his Origin hopes that year. Then in 2021 he received a five-game suspension for dangerous contact in Round 11, ending any hopes he had of making his long-awaited debut for NSW.

Radley knows the Origin carrot is again right in front of him in 2022. He also knows that with the retirements of senior Roosters forwards like Jake Friend and Boyd Cordner, he will be looked upon for leadership at club level.

“I don’t want to really speak too much about it,” Radley told the Roosters website.

“I just want to go and lead by my actions.

“Obviously I got into a bit of strife last year and what not… but now it’s about actions and proving myself again.”

Radley missed another three weeks later in 2021 for a careless high tackle in Round 22 but made it back for the NRL finals, before the Roosters fell to the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles in Week Two.

True Blue Andrew Johns is an unabashed fan of Radley and has often spoken about his ball-playing skills and the high bar it sets for all lock forwards.

“I’ve grown up always passing the ball… I wasn’t the biggest lad (in juniors) so I had that role of kind of linking up and passing,” Radley said.

“It’s kind of weird how that’s evolved into the NRL and fitted into how I play – connecting with the halves more.

“I’ve also spent this pre-season of not getting away from the hardness of it as well – getting back to the hardness of an old-school No.13 who used to pass the ball but were also hard as nuts.”

The late St George Dragons lock and Immortal John Raper fitted into that category beautifully.

“So, keeping that hardness and having that connection is what I’ve been working on,” Radley said.

“Obviously I played hooker a few years back a bit… I just love my hands on the ball and the more I can do that, the more I’m enjoying things.

“If I can build trust with the halves, fullback and the team in getting my hands on the ball then I’ll do that more. That’s what I want to do – I want to play.”

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