The Canberra Raiders would like to clarify the selection process for their players for the upcoming representative round fixtures.
After discussions with the Country Rugby League and club medical staff, the decision was made to withdraw players from selection for the Country Origin team, due to ongoing minor injuries. It was determined that in the best interests of the players and the club they would use the upcoming week to ensure they are fully fit for the Raiders next premiership match.
The NSWRL enquired about the availability of both Junior Paulo and Joey Leilua for selection in the City Origin Team, but both players have already agreed to play for Samoa against England in Saturday night’s Test Match, making them ineligible for selection.
The Raiders will have two representatives in Josh Hodgson and Elliott Whitehead representing England in the same match, while Jordan Rapana will represent New Zealand in the ANZAC Test at GIO Stadium on Friday night.
Both Josh Papalii (Suspended) and Shannon Boyd (Injured) have been already been withdrawn from the Australian Kangaroos team.
Raiders Coach Ricky Stuart said the club was proud to have a number of international representatives and said they would not risk the welfare of players who were carrying injuries.
“To have several players involved in International football this weekend is a wonderful achievement for our club and we wish them all the best as they represent their nations this weekend,” Stuart said. “After discussions with the NSWRL and Country Origin teams a decision has been made to make some players unavailable for selection due to minor injury. We feel as a club it’s in the best interest for the players not to play this weekend.”
The Raiders will also have squad member Makahesi Makatoa representing the Cook Islands this weekend, while PNG International Kato Ottio will not play for the Kumuls as he’s only just returned from a major knee injury.