Sydney Roosters' verteran centre Josh Morris has been axed from this weekend's Sydney Roosters team to take on the Newcastle Knights.
It came with James Tedesco returning to the team after resting from last week's tough win over the North Queensland Cowboys, which followed a gruelling Origin series.
It was tipped that Billy Smith would be the one to drop from the squad with Tedesco returning, but instead, coach Trent Robinson elected to drop his 34-year-old veteran, who has 321 NRL appearances to his name and has missed just a single game so far this year.
The normally consistent centre is still missing very few tackles and carrying out his role in the side, however, Robinson told the media it wasn't due to injury.
“Josh would admit he’s not up to his standard. He doesn’t need lessons from me about how to play, he just needed to take five and get back to some training and some rest and then work around what he needs to do,” Robinson said.
“It’s really hard when you see a guy like that and you have to tell them they’re not playing, it’s not a nice thing to do, it’s not about I’ll show you and you need to perform or else; it’s as much me failing as it is Josh.”
Josh watched on as brother Brett retired from the game earlier this season due to injury.
The duo have been at the forefront of the best outside backs in the competition for a decade, both spending time at the Dragons and Bulldogs, while Josh also had a stint at the Sharks before joining the tri-colours.
The 34-year-old's axing raises questions about whether he will be able to fight his way back into the squad.
Joseph Manu is potentially the best centre in the game right now, while young gun Smith has impressed in limited first grade opportunities thus far.
Morris will remain with the Roosters in their Queensland bubble, which the NRL may need to use until the end of the season.
The Roosters are currently fifth on the table, but not out of the running for a top-four spot if they can continue winning, particularly given the injury to Mitchell Moses which could potentially be season-ending.