The Canberra Raiders will take their best available squad to Bega, for Saturday’s trial match against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.
The likes of Jarrod Croker, Josh Hodgson, Aidan Sezer, Josh Papalii, Elliott Whitehead, Nick Cotric and Sia Soliola will all have their first hit out for the season, while Joe Tapine will back up from his strong performance for the Maori All-Stars on Friday night.
Michael Oldfield, Joey Leilua, John Bateman and Jordan Rapana will miss the match with injury, but all players with the exception of Jordan Rapana will be available for selection in round one.
A number of the clubs’ younger players will get the opportunity to back up from Friday nights trial win against the Eels, with Corey Horsburgh, Hudson Young, Ryan Sutton, Bailey Simonsson, Seb Kris and Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad all selected for the Bega trial.
Experienced players Sam Williams and Luke Bateman will also play a part on Saturday.
Raiders Coach Ricky Stuart said he was happy with the performance of the team in their first trial match and the Bega Trial would now feature a stronger squad.
“I was very pleased with how our younger players performed against Parramatta’s NRL players,” Stuart said. “The team we take to Bega will be our strongest team that we have available.”
“We will be looking to give our main squad around 60 minutes and we will be looking to field our strongest team while we’re down there.
“What I really like about our squad is that there is a lot of young players coming through pushing a couple of our senior players which is really healthy competition.”
Stuart said the Raiders were looking forward to getting amongst the community while they were in the region.
“We enjoy getting out to the country areas, we will be heading down for the whole week, we want to buy into the community, all of our training sessions will be open so we would love to see a lot of kids come out and meet the players.”
Raiders v Bulldogs
Saturday February 23, 5.00pm
Bega Recreational Ground
Jarrod Croker ©
Josh Hodgson ©