Selfless Williams takes Raiders' reins

A virus may have rubbed him out of the Raiders' season-opener but a halves injury crisis will see Sam Williams take the club's reins against the Roosters in Round 2. 

Blake Austin (knee) and Aiden Sezer (eye socket) are set to miss five weeks each following the Raiders' eight-point win over Penrith last weekend, but Williams is confident in his ability to lead the side.

Lachlan Croker will make his NRL debut this weekend to partner Williams in the halves. 

"[Austin and Sezer] had outstanding games on the weekend and it's disappointing to see what happened to them but it gives opportunities to other players and this weekend it's about us stepping in now," Williams said.

"We have done a lot over the off-season with different combinations and different players, and I think we all feel comfortable with whoever is there. It's just about going out there and doing our job, and if we do that we're going to be hard to beat."

"Either way, it's important that I control the team. Whoever is there [alongside me] the main thing is to get the team around the park.

"I think I'm a natural talker on the field. I'm happy leading the team around and calling the shots so it doesn't change my game too much. It's just important when I get out there to make the right calls and get the team around."

Williams could very well have played in Round 1 but ruled himself out in a move which proved selfless and team-orientated.

Struck down by illness early on Saturday morning Williams has being working closely with the club's coaching staff to ensure he is fit and fighting for the Roosters. 

'I've spoken to our dietician, and our strength and performance staff and they have given me all the right ideas to put some weight back on. It's just about getting all the fluids back in and eating properly to try and get that weight back," Williams said. 

"I was ready to go on Saturday but unfortunately got a little bit crook on Friday night and it carried over to the next day. It was just another week I've had to wait and I'm just itching to get out there. 

"The virus hit about 1am and I was trying to convince myself all Saturday that I could have played but it would have been a selfish thing to do. 

"If I would have only been able to play for five minutes and not continued the team would have only suffered. It wouldn't have helped the team at all."

This article first appeared on NRL.com | Jack Brady NRL.com

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