Jarrod Croker has been given the opportunity to Captain the Raiders for the first time, after he was named Captain of the Raiders squad for the inaugural Dick Smith NRL Auckland nines on February 15-16.

It’s a huge honour for Croker who surpassed 100 NRL matches last season at age 22 and he said he’s excited about the prospect of leading the young Raiders team in the first ever NRL nines tournament.

“It’s a huge honour to Captain the Raiders and I can’t wait to lead the boys out onto the field in Auckland,” Croker said. “After getting the chance to play my 100th game for the team I love last year I didn’t think it could get much better, but captaining the Raiders is definitely right up there.”

Croker said he’s looking forward to the challenge of the fast paced nines and said there were plenty of players in the Raiders squad people would remember by the end of the tournament.

“It’s a bit of unknown being the first time we’ve played in this type of tournament, but we are going over to Auckland looking at surprising a few teams and playing some fun and carefree footy,” Croker said. “There are some young guys in our squad like Luke Bateman, Jack Ahearn and Andrew Heffernan who have all been massive at NYC level and they will get a chance to show their skill on a bigger stage.”

The Raiders team features try scoring machine Reece Robinson as well as seasoned NRL stars Tom Learoyd-Lahrs and Joel Edwards.

Raiders Assistant Coach Matt Parish will travel with the team as Coach for the event, with Ricky Stuart remaining in Canberra to prepare the rest of the Raiders squad for their second trial match against the Newcastle Knights on February 22 in Tamworth.

Canberra Raiders
Auckland 9’s, Feb 15-16, Eden Park

Jarrod Croker (C)
Reece Robinson
Mitch Cornish
Bill Tupou
Matt McIlwrick
Joel Edwards
Glen Buttriss
Tom Learoyd-Lahrs
Jarrad Kennedy
Mark Nicholls
Jake Foster
Lagi Setu
Mitch Cronin
Luke Bateman
Jack Ahearn
Andrew Heffernan