Parramatta Eels legend Peter Sterling believes rising Sydney Roosters prop Lindsay Collins will be “right up there with our elite front-rowers” by the end of his career.
Sterling’s comments were made on the back of Collins’ instrumental role in the Roosters’ comprehensive ANZAC Day victory over the Dragons, in which the Queensland State of Origin representative registered 131 metres, three tackle busts, one line-break and 26 tackles.
“Ten metres either side of the play-the-ball – that’s where they (the Dragons) were coming to get the Roosters, who after conceding that early try, stood up. And I don’t think there was anyone better than Lindsay Collins in doing that,” Sterling said on Wide World of Sports’ Sterlo’s Wrap.
“This is a young man who, in a tough position, plays tough.
“He obviously broke into the Origin ranks last year.
“I think in the years to come he’s going to be right up there with our elite front-rowers. I don’t want to put him in the same category as a Shane Webcke, but he’s got the attributes to really make a big impression in our game.”
The Roosters’ front-row stocks have been led by Jared Waerea-Hargeaves and Siosiua Taukeiaho throughout Collins’ time at the Roosters.
Waerea-Hargreaves has played 244 matches, won three premierships and played 32 Tests with New Zealand, establishing himself as one of the leading front-rowers in the league since crossing from Manly after season 2009.
Taukeiaho has played 135 games, won two premierships and collected 10 Test caps (nine with Tonga, one with New Zealand), developing into a monumental force since swapping Warriors colours for the Roosters’ strip after the 2013 season.
Sterling says 48-game hardman Collins, who made his NRL debut in round 12, 2017, must be reaping great rewards in the presence of Waerea-Hargreaves and Taukeiaho.
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“I like what I see from Lindsay Collins in the way that he plays the game, the way he approaches it, I think he understands the game, I think Trent Robinson is going to bring him along very nicely,” Sterling said.
“He’s got Waerea-Hargreaves and Taukeiaho around him to tutor to some degree.
“I think big things are coming Lindsay Collins’ way, I think he’ll play Origin again this year, I think it’ll be the start of a long representative career for him.”
The medical retirement of hooker Jake Friend and lengthy absence of captain Boyd Cordner due to concussion have left a mountain of responsibility with those now driving the Roosters’ forward pack.
The Roosters’ middle men are now set to face star front-rowers Daniel Saifiti and David Klemmer when they meet the Knights at McDonald Jones Stadium on Saturday night.