The Canberra Raiders have named their squad for Thursday night’s match against the Parramatta Eels at Cbus Super Stadium.
Xavier Savage has been ruled out for the remainder of the season after suffering a shoulder injury, so Jordan Rapana shifts to fullback and Harley Smith-Shields plays his first NRL match of the year on the wing.
Jack Wighton will miss at least one match with a rib injury, which sees Matt Frawley return to the side at five-eighth, while Elliott Whitehead will miss another match with a shoulder injury.
Matt Timoko returns to the team this week on the interchange bench and replaces Ryan James in the 17.
Raiders Coach Ricky Stuart said it was very disappointing news for Xavier considering the work he'd put in to get his opportunity but knew he would have another chance in the future.
"I really feel for Xavier as he has worked extremely hard since last November to get to play NRL," he said. "His commitment to hard work got him his start and I know that attitude will get him back there."
Stuart said despite the club's injury challenges over the past two seasons, he was proud of the way the group continues to rise to the challenges before them.
"Injuries the last two seasons have really tested the squad. You have seasons where you cop a spate of injuries but we have copped it back to back," Stuart said. "They have all been long-term or season-ending injuries and it asks plenty of questions towards the resilience of your players, but there is no surrender in this group of boys.
"Injury is not something you can control but you can definitely control effort and we will keep turning up with plenty of it."
Fullback for Eels is number 1 Clinton GuthersonFullback for Raiders is number 1 Jordan Rapana
Winger for Eels is number 2 Maika SivoWinger for Raiders is number 2 Harley Smith-Shields
Centre for Eels is number 3 Will PenisiniCentre for Raiders is number 3 Jarrod Croker
Centre for Eels is number 4 Waqa BlakeCentre for Raiders is number 4 Sebastian Kris
Winger for Eels is number 5 Blake FergusonWinger for Raiders is number 5 Semi Valemei
Five-Eighth for Eels is number 6 Dylan BrownFive-Eighth for Raiders is number 6 Matt Frawley
Halfback for Eels is number 7 Jake ArthurHalfback for Raiders is number 7 Sam Williams
Prop for Eels is number 8 Reagan Campbell-GillardProp for Raiders is number 10 Emre Guler
Hooker for Eels is number 9 Reed MahoneyHooker for Raiders is number 9 Josh Hodgson
Prop for Eels is number 10 Junior PauloProp for Raiders is number 17 Joseph Tapine
2nd Row for Eels is number 11 Isaiah Papali'i2nd Row for Raiders is number 11 Corey Harawira-Naera
2nd Row for Eels is number 12 Ryan Matterson2nd Row for Raiders is number 12 Hudson Young
Lock for Eels is number 13 Nathan BrownLock for Raiders is number 13 Ryan Sutton
Interchange for Eels is number 14 Marata NiukoreInterchange for Raiders is number 8 Josh Papalii
Interchange for Eels is number 15 Shaun LaneInterchange for Raiders is number 14 Tom Starling
Interchange for Eels is number 16 Oregon KaufusiInterchange for Raiders is number 15 Matthew Timoko
Interchange for Eels is number 17 Will SmithInterchange for Raiders is number 16 Iosia Soliola
Reserve for Eels is number 19 Bryce CartwrightReserve for Raiders is number 19 Ryan James
- Referee: Adam Gee
- Touch Judge: Phil Henderson
- Touch Judge: Peter Gough
- Senior Review Official: Henry Perenara
Canberra Raiders v Parramatta Eels
Thursday July 22, 7.50pm, Cbus Super Stadium.
1. Jordan Rapana
2. Harley Smith-Shields
3. Jarrod Croker (C)
4. Sebastian Kris
5. Semi Valemei
6. Matt Frawley
7. Sam Williams
8. Josh Papalii
9. Josh Hodgson
10. Emre Guler
11. Corey Harawira-Naera
12. Hudson Young
13. Ryan Sutton
14. Tom Starling
15. Matt Timoko
16. Sia Soliola
17. Joe Tapine
18. Caleb Aekins
19. Ryan James
20. Siliva Havili
21. Trey Mooney
Dunamis Lui – Calf - Round 20-21
Bailey Simonsson – Toe – Round 21-23
Elliott Whitehead – Shoulder – Round 20-21
Jack Wighton – Ribs – Round 20-21
Corey Horsburgh – Wrist – Round 20-21
Xavier Savage – Shoulder - Season
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad (Neck) – Season