June 23, 2024

Nat Butcher was facing potential demotion before Anzac Day, yet in typical fashion, the Sydney Roosters’ back-rower showcased his resilience when under pressure.

The 26-year-old, known for his consistent performances in recent seasons, had acknowledged a dip in form at the start of the season and was slated for a bench role prior to the Roosters’ dominant 60-18 victory over the Dragons.

Butcher’s chance to prove himself further emerged when Victor Radley sustained a late-week injury, granting the local talent another opportunity to catch the eye of coach Trent Robinson.

Speaking to the media after the game, the coach candidly discussed Butcher’s position in the lineup leading up to Anzac Day and expressed his satisfaction with the quality performance Butcher delivered.

“He was slated to be benched before the game, with ‘Rads’ set to start,” Robinson revealed during his press conference.

“He recognized his form wasn’t up to par, and his opportunity came with ‘Rads’ being sidelined.

“It’s commendable how he handled the situation, understood it, and then returned to deliver the performance he did. I’m genuinely proud of Nat.

“He’s renowned for his defensive prowess, but he also possesses attacking attributes when he’s in the zone.”

Butcher, who has exclusively represented the Roosters in all 133 NRL games of his career, previously caught the eye for representative honors a couple of years ago due to his defensive resilience and underrated attacking skills on the edge.

However, with the rise of Siua Wong and Angus Crichton’s resurgence this year, competition for second-row spots at Bondi has intensified in 2024.

The former Australian Schoolboys standout acknowledged that his performance had indeed faltered, but credited his relationship with Robinson as a driving force behind his resurgence.

“I was anticipating it [being dropped] because I’ve been dissatisfied with my recent performances,” Butcher admitted.

“Robbo and I had a constructive conversation about it, and I was determined to return to my fundamental skills and top form. I needed to take a hard look at myself.

“I maintained confidence in my abilities because I understand my potential and what I can achieve.”

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