The Canberra Raiders have named John Bateman to start for the first time in 2020, while new recruit Corey Harawira-Naera will play his first game for the Green Machine against the North Queensland Cowboys in Townsville on Saturday 1 August.
Bateman has overcome a shoulder injury to finally play his first game for the club since last year’s grand final and has been named to start in the second row, shifting Hudson Young to lock.
Harawira-Naera only joined the Raiders bubble this week after signing with the club on Friday 24 July but has been named on the bench to become Raider #368 in his first NRL game this year.
Having only just completed his first training session with the club yesterday, it may take a while for him to build up the match fitness required to start and play 80 minutes in the back row.
After missing the past three weeks because of poor form and an arm infection, Curtis Scott has been named to start at centre, while Jordan Rapana will move to fullback to cover the injured Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, who is expected to miss only one to two weeks with a finger injury.
The inclusions of Bateman, Harawira-Naera and Scott have come at a crucial time for the club after a spate of recent injuries had really tested the Raiders’ depth.
The inclusions also mean that rookies Kai O’Donnell and Harley Smith-Shields have been dropped from the starting 17 and named in the extended squad.
Meanwhile, the Cowboys have made two changes to their side with Jordan McLean named to start in the front row and Connelly Lemuelu named in the centres.
However, the Cowboys will be forced to make one more change as Josh McGuire has been suspended for one game after an unsuccessful appearance at the NRL tribunal on Tuesday night, 28 July.
|1||Jordan Rapana||1||Hamiso Tabaui-Fidow|
|2||Semi Valemei||2||Kyle Feldt|
|3||Jarrod Croker||3||Justin O’Neill|
|4||Curtis Scott||4||Connelly Lemuelu|
|5||Nick Cotric||5||Murray Taulagi|
|6||Jack Wighton||6||Daejarn Asi|
|7||George Williams||7||Jake Clifford|
|8||Josh Papalii||8||Josh McGuire|
|9||Siliva Havili||9||Reece Robson|
|10||Dunamis Lui||10||Jordan McLean|
|11||John Bateman||11||Shane Wright|
|12||Elliott Whitehead||12||Coen Hess|
|13||Hudson Young||13||Jason Taumalolo|
|14||Tom Starling||14||Mitchell Dunn|
|15||Joe Tapine||15||Tom Gilbert|
|16||Ryan Sutton||16||Gavin Cooper|
|17||Corey Harawira-Naera||17||Francis Molo|
|18||Sam Williams||18||John Asiata|
|19||Harley Smith-Shields||19||Ben Hampton|
|20||Kai O’Donnell||20||Esan Marsters|
|21||Matt Frawley||21||Jake Granville|