Rugby League

Koroisau ‘ready to go’ for Panthers

A broken wrist and a bout of gastro has kept Penrith hooker Api Koroisau sidelined for six weeks, but the star No 9 insists he is “ready to go” for his comeback against his former club Manly on Saturday.

Koroisau hasn’t played since breaking his wrist in the opening round of the season against North Queensland.

The Fijian international was set to return from injury against Newcastle last weekend before a bout of gastro hit.

“I spent most of last Tuesday on the toilet with gastro,” Koroisau revealed.

“I think I picked it up from the kids, so that pretty much kept me out of last weekend’s game.

“Anything is better than what I was doing last week, I can tell you, but I’m just so keen to get back.

“Watching the boys play and win games so well, you just want to be a part of that and I’m feeling really good.

“It has been a few weeks now, so I’ve been itching to go since round 2, so I’m ready to go.”

Api Koroisau hasn’t played since breaking his wrist in the opening round of the season against North Queensland. Picture: Jason McCawley/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

Koroisau may be brimming with confidence heading into his return clash, but he wasn’t feeling so comfortable watching Mitch Kenny excel in his No 9 jersey to help the Panthers remain undefeated.

In fact, there were stages when he feared he might lose his position in the side.

“I honestly had that feeling, for sure,” he said.

“He (Mitch) has played amazing and just to see his growth in the last year-and-a-half has been incredible.

“That doubt popped into my head, for sure, but I’m lucky enough to get back out there this week.”

As a former Sea Eagle who still lives on Sydney’s northern beaches, Koroisau could be assumed to know how to stop an in-form Manly side in Bathurst on Saturday.

But the affable hooker insists he has no idea, especially when it comes to limiting the effectiveness of star fullback Tom Trbojevic.

Koroisau didn’t even pick up any insider tips on how to slow down Trbojevic during his 77-game tenure at Brookvale between 2016 and 2019.

“No, I was too busy being a fan girl over him and being one of his teammates thinking that he was the best thing ever,” he joked.

“I think there are no real shortcuts to stopping Tom Trbojevic, and it is going to be a team effort.”

Penrith centre Brent Naden is Bulldogs bound. Picture: Mark Kolbe/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

Meanwhile, Koroisau is disappointed to lose strike centre Brent Naden to Canterbury.

Naden is expected to join former Panthers assistant Trent Barrett at the Bulldogs on a two-year deal.

Koroisau had no idea about the impending move when asked at training on Tuesday.

“Brent Naden? No, really? Oh, that is torture,” he said.

“I love Brent. He has worked incredibly hard to get to where he is today and you see him putting in the work, too.

“I hope that is not true because I’d love to still have him here, that is for sure.

“He is an incredible player, and I can see why so many people wanted him.

“I guess it is rugby league, and it is a business now and you have got to take those opportunities when they come.”

Koroisau, however, does understand why players want to link with Barrett.

“He is a smooth talker, Baz, but he is also a great coach,” he said.

“A lot of the boys would love to play under him, and I can see why they are choosing to go back there as well.”

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