New Zealand v South Africa - Rugby World Cup 2019: Group B
YOKOHAMA, JAPAN - SEPTEMBER 21: TJ Perenara and New Zealand players perform the Haka prior to the Rugby World Cup 2019 Group B game between New Zealand and South Africa at International Stadium Yokohama on September 21, 2019 in Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

TJ Perenara is close to signing with the injury riddled Roosters, according to prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves.

The All Blacks star has been linked to a move to the NRL with the Roosters following injuries to key players.

Veteran Brett Morris and Lindsay Collins both suffered ACL injuries in the Chooks’ Round 8 win over the Knights. The duo will join Luke Keary on the sidelines, who suffered an ACL injury in Round 3.

Australia v New Zealand - 2020 Tri-Nations
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – OCTOBER 31: TJ Perenara of the All Blacks warms up ahead of the 2020 Tri-Nations and Bledisloe Cup match between the Australian Wallabies and the New Zealand All Blacks at ANZ Stadium on October 31, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Waerea-Hargreaves said he had spoken to commentator and former player Sonny Bill Williams about Perenara’s future before the Roosters’ Round 6 clash.

“I spoke with Sonny and he reckons he’s good mates with TJ. He’s close [to signing],” Waerea-Hargreaves said.

“We are obviously super keen. We’d love to have a guy of his calibre definitely amongst our squad, especially now with the injuries.”

There were emotional scenes after Saturday’s match as Morris, who was widely expected to retire at season’s end, came to terms with a potentially career-ending injury. Morris’ injury comes after the mid-season retirement of fellow veteran Jake Friend, who suffered a nasty concussion in Round 1.

Speaking on the horror injury toll at the Roosters, Waerea-Hargreaves stressed the importance of remaining as a united group.

“It’s just about staying tight. I actually wanted to come into training yesterday, but we had the day off,” he said.

“We’ve copped a lot of big injuries the last few weeks and you have a lot of young guys sitting in a room who don’t really know the highs and lows of rugby league.

“It was just making it clear whatever we are doing we do together we stay tight and we stay united because you can start overthinking things and you can go into your own shell.”

The Roosters will be boosted by the expected return of captain James Tedesco as they look to put an emotional week behind them in their Round 9 clash against the 2nd-placed Eels.

NRL Rd 9 - Cowboys v Roosters
TOWNSVILLE, AUSTRALIA – JULY 09: James Tedesco of the Roosters runs the ball during the round nine NRL match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Sydney Roosters at QCB Stadium on July 09, 2020 in Townsville, Australia. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)