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Raiders winger Bailey Simonsson.

The old saying of "a chain is no stronger than its weakest link" is something most NRL coaches hope positively applies to their team throughout any given season.

Natural attrition in the form of injuries is expected by all 16 teams in the NRL and it is often the youngest and least experienced that are called on to fill the void.

Every club has experienced different levels of success during these periods, but for the Canberra Raiders in 2019, generation next has stood tall when it mattered most, according to coach Ricky Stuart.

Faced with a big injury toll that saw several international players and hundreds of games of NRL experience sitting on the sideline at once, players who were largely only known to those in the nation's capital were injected into the NRL.

Names like Corey Horsburgh, Hudson Young, Bailey Simonsson, Sebastian Kris and Tom Starling have all made an impact for the green machine.

Now with the Raiders' big names return from the injury ward, Stuart paid tribute to the club's burgeoning talent ahead of their clash with Parramatta on Saturday night.

Raiders forward Corey Horsburgh.
Raiders forward Corey Horsburgh. ©Robb Cox/NRL Photos

"It's nice getting a number of players back now and it's a credit to the younger guys who've come in and debuted and got that first-grade experience and kept the team on track," Stuart told

"It shows their commitment to the hard work and the learning process at the start of the year is playing great dividends.

"(It shows) first grade is around the corner if you work hard and are willing to give to the cause."

Stuart said he always knew the side's budding stars had what it took to make an impact at the highest level, but how they accepted that responsibility made it easier to hand them important roles in a team that has serious ambitions of finishing in the top four.

"What the younger blokes have shown is great confidence and belief in their own abilities," Stuart added.

"That gives me great confidence in selecting a young guy going into first grade

"The players I've selected I've always known they were going to be first grade players, just some of them got a bite at the top level a bit earlier and they took it with both hands."

The Raiders have worked hard to cultivate an environment in 2019 where the task at hand is the only thing that matters.

However, the possibility of a side brimming with international stars, attacking flair and a steely edge in defence has Stuart in some ways welcoming the outside expectations.

"If there's an expectation there the players should feel proud of that," he said.

"You work hard to be expected to be good and to win and get to this level,

"If you've got people walking in the gate with their fingers crossed, there might not be a lot of belief around the team

"The main thing is the belief and the confidence in the squad and the younger players have kept us competitive and those guys deserve the credit

"They've filled in for the injured guys and some of them have been there for most of the season

"The senior blokes that have been guiding them such as Jarrod (Croker) and Jack (Wighton), Sia Soliola and Dunamis Lui, they've been wonderful sounding boards and a good positive foundation for some of the them to come through and make their debut."

Stuart didn't expect the club's State of Origin stars Jack Wighton and Josh Papalii to have a reduced role on Saturday night as the team shoots for their fourth win in a row.

"I know the guys are looking to catch up with the rest of the side and getting back out there and playing with their mates," he said.

"That's the ingredient and the backbone of a representative player.

"Jack's came back from his last (Origin) game and got man of the match twice I think, and I think that's the real behaviour of a rep player to come back and perform for your club and teammates who've helped you get to that position.

"I know Papa's done it for a long time, so it's a wonderful quality to have."

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.