ROOSTERS second-rower Aidan Guerra might have aims of representing Italy in the World Cup later this year, but he also sees today's annual Anzac Day game against the Dragons as hugely important.
"My cousin is in the Navy, and growing up in Townsville I have a lot of mates that went on to serve in the Army - it's hard not to get up for a game like this," he said.
Guerra, who made his NRL debut in 2010, has not played in a Roosters team that has beaten the Dragons on Anzac Day, with the joint venture team winning the past five of these big Allianz Stadium clashes.
Despite that record, the Roosters will go into the match $1.31 favourites with TattsBet after losing just two of their first six games.
But Guerra bristled at the suggestion his team had been more consistent in 2013 compared to previous seasons.
"We're only six weeks into the season, so you can't say that about us yet," he said.
"The Dragons were very consistent under Wayne Bennett and we haven't been. Their forwards have done well for a long time and that's what we'd like to start doing.
"But the difference for us this year is we have so much more depth with Sonny Bill Williams and Luke O'Donnell coming in - you have to perform or you'll get dropped."
Guerra said his team enjoyed the rivalry it shared with a fellow famous club like the Dragons on Anzac Day.
While the 25-year-old is in line to represent Italy at its first World Cup in October and November in the UK, he said he was solely focussed on the present.
"I'm seen as a senior player at the club now, but I know it only takes one bad game to play reserve grade, or be named as the 18th man," Guerra, who has missed four games this year largely due to ankle problems, said.
While the forward battle will go along way to deciding the outcome, the contest between five-eighths James Maloney and Jamie Soward will also be crucial.
The Dragons pivot will need to show his decision last week to sign a four-year deal with Penrith from 2014 won't be a distraction for the rest of the season, while Maloney will be keen to further press his State-of-Origin claims.
Maloney has scored four tries and made six line breaks this season, while Soward has yet to make a line break and has run the ball an average of just four times a game this campaign.
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