Refusing to reveal what specific role Jake Friend will play, Trent Robinson will keep fans and the opposition guessing right up until kick-off in the Sydney Roosters' NRL preliminary final on Saturday week.
Robinson plans to include Friend in an extended 21-man squad when he names his side on Tuesday to tackle the winner of this week's semi-final between Melbourne and Parramatta.
Beyond that, the Roosters coach is giving little away as Friend races the clock to be fit to start just his sixth match of an injury-ravaged 2019 season.
Rookie Sam Verrills has impressed deputising for the co-captain, leaving Robinson to consider starting Friend from the bench in what would be the veteran's first appearance since finally recovering from a broken arm.
"Jake's been good so the plan is to have Jake included in the 21 at the moment," Robinson said.
"Can I borrow a line from (New England Patriots NFL coach) Phil Belichick - do you want me to hand over the game plan? I'm sure you would.
"He famously used that with Antonio Brown last week with Miami Dolphins so I'll use the same, if I can borrow that, and I won't be telling you anything until Saturday night at 7.30.
"(That) will be the plan."
Robinson was more forthcoming with news on Boyd Cordner, saying he was confident Friend's fellow co-captain would be fine to play after hobbling off with a quad strain late in the first half of the Roosters' 30-6 carve up of South Sydney last week.
"Boyd's actually progressed better than I thought. He came in quite well on Monday and he'll progress in the next week to get into training next week so that's a positive sign," said Robinson, who was also optimistic a hip complaint wouldn't stop winger Daniel Tupou from playing in the preliminary final at the SCG.
Australian Associated Press