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2021 Season Review: Wingers

The wing position saw some stability in the first half of the season, before several injuries in the backline resulted in the next generation getting their opportunity. 

The Raiders outside backs had several forced changes during the season, which allowed a number of the club's rising stars the opportunity late in the season to have an opportunity at NRL level. 

With the NSW Cup competition suspended before the end of the year, this allowed the club to test the potential of these younger players to help plan for the future. This resulted in new contracts for several of these players including Harley Smith-Shields, Xavier Savage, Semi Valemei, Elijah Anderson and Matt Timoko. 

The Raiders started the season with Bailey Simonsson and Jordan Rapana on the wing, playing the majority of the first half of the season in this position. 

Simonsson went on to play 17 games this season between wing and fullback, with a toe injury seeing him miss five games midway through the year. 

Rapana played on the wing until suffering a hamstring injury against the Knights in Round 9, which saw him spend some time on the sidelines in the middle of the season. 

Rapana made a late season switch to fullback to cover injuries, where he impressed and was eventually named the 2021 Meninga Medalist. He also finished the season as the Raiders leading try scorer, with 12 tries in 2021. 

Semi Valemei played 11 games on the wing in 2021, becoming a regular in the team during the midway stages of the season. 

After recovering from a Biceps Tendon injury that ruled him out for the majority of the season, Harley Smith-Shields returned on the wing in Round 19. 

Usually a centre, Smith-Shields played the last seven games of the season on the wing, scoring three tries. 

After spending a year away from the game, Seb Kris returned for the 2021 season and while he spent most of the season in the centres, he also played one game on the wing in Round 7 against the Cowboys. 

Elijah Anderson had the opportunity to make his debut late in the season. Usually a winger/centre, he took the field in the late stages of the round 21 win over the Dragons.