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The first hit out of season 2018 sees the Canberra Raiders travel north to take on the Gold Coast Titans at CBUS Super Stadium. Here are five things to cast an eye over for the round one clash.

Footy is back!

It has been a long pre-season with a number of player movements but with the dust finally settling, we are eager for the first ball to be kicked. This season is a big one for the Raiders after a disappointing 2017.

The club has added plenty of depth while keeping the majority of the starting 17. With minimal changes to the starting side, the players should be able to gel quickly and find their groove.

With the first match coming against another attacking team in the Titans, it should be an exciting match to watch.

Covering Hodgson

The biggest speculation in the build up to the season is who will replace England international Josh Hodgson in the dummy half role.

With the departure of Kurt Baptiste and the retirement of Adam Clydsdale, the number 9 jersey is up for grabs.

Siliva Havili gets the first crack at the role so watch for him to have a big impact in the middle of the park.

The reliability from dummy half will be important and supplying good service to the halves will be a key to victory against the Titans.

Repeat dose

The last time we travelled to the Gold Coast it resulted in a comprehensive 42-16 victory for the Raiders.

Rapana had a day to remember bagging a hat-trick within 25 minutes to deliver an emphatic victory.

The Raiders have returned with a win the last two times we’ve played at CBUS Super Stadium. The boys will be looking to claim their third successive win against the Titans away from home.

After a successful pre-season, the Raiders travel up with confidence on their side as they aim to start the season with a bang.

Third time’s a charm

Back at the Raiders for a third time, Sam Williams looks set to play an important role for the club this season.

The halfback who came through our junior system, Williams will be hoping to have a big impact in his first outing of the season as he tries to cement his spot in the Raider’s best 17.

A natural game manager, Williams’ will be looking to impress Ricky Stuart with a commanding performance, so keep an eye out to see how he gets involved on Sunday.

Milestone men

Although it is only round one of the season, the Raiders start the season with a couple of fan favourites enjoying milestone games on Sunday.

Ricky Stuart will notch up his 100th game in charge of the Raiders while second rower Josh Papalii will line up for his 150th NRL appearance for the men in green. Luke Bateman will also mark a significant milestone as he makes his 50th NRL appearance for the Raiders.

After a difficult World Cup, Papalii has worked hard to get himself in peak physical condition for round one and will be raring to go against the Titans.

Acknowledgement of Country

Canberra Raiders respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.