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After struggling to train in the off-season, stewing over his four-match suspension, Corey Horsburgh has come to terms with his ban and is excited to see teammates fight it out for the No. 13 jersey.

Found guilty by the NRL judiciary of a Grade One Shoulder Charge in Round 26, the Raiders firebrand still has two weeks suspension to serve in the opening rounds of 2024 after watching his side bow out in last year's elimination finals.

Having made his State of Origin debut and racked up more tackles than any other Raider last season, Horsburgh looks sure to keep his mortgage on the lock position in 2024 but has accepted his jersey is fair game.

“I have come to terms with it, but I did struggle in the off-season to train. That's when I kind of struggled with it just because I knew I still had two games to go, but I've got my head around it now,” Horsburgh told media on Tuesday.

“There's nothing I can do about it, I’ve just got to get myself in good shape and make sure when my time comes, I'm ready to go... Round 3 I’m back so I’m going to have itchy feet.

“I’m not worried but anything can happen and I’m giving someone a chance at my jersey and if they play good footy they could have it."

Horsburgh digs deep for the Raiders

Horsburgh will already have been feeling the heat from his younger teammates after Hohepa Puru and Trey Mooney shone in the Raiders' dramatic finals loss to the Knights but the club have also welcomed several new faces including Morgan Smithies (Wigan Warriors), Simi Sasagi (Knights) and Zac Hosking (Panthers).

Having himself debuted in Round 1 back in 2019, the 25-year-old said he is excited to possibly see one of his teammates pulling on a lime green jersey for the first time.

“I’m excited to give some young fellas a foot in the door, everyone’s got to have a crack at some point,” he said.

“There would be a few obvious candidates. Morgan's a good 13, Hohepa at the end of last season had a few good games there, so it’s in their hands not mine and whoever plays well in the trials and earns that spot I’ll be happy for.

“We’ve got a good, healthy competition going on with the forwards at the moment so I’m excited for the trials and the start of the year.”

Hosking: It's been an easy transition

A club renowned for their physicality and fire, Horsburgh said his forward pack is in good shape and ready to lay the platform for what's shaping to be a new-look, youthful spine.

“I think this will be one of the fittest packs in the comp, we’ve obviously got Paps (Papali’i) and Taps (Tapine) – two of the best front rowers on their day,” he said.

“And then we've got a lot of hungry young middles, people like Trey Mooney and Morgan who are very talented footballers.

"It is a very young spine, but I'm excited. Obviously these young fellas have been working very hard and they're going to get their chance, hopefully they take it with both hands.

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.