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Thursday, April 22, 2021
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James in, Croker out as Raiders name round one side

The Canberra Raiders round one side has been named with Jarrod Croker set to miss the clash against the Wests Tigers at GIO Stadium on Sunday 14 March at 4.05pm.

Croker was racing the clock to prove his fitness after shoulder surgery and will now be assessed on a weekly basis to determine when he can return.

After an impressive performance in the trial match, Seb Kris has won the race to fill that vacant left centre spot. Earlier today, Kris was elevated from a train and trial contract to become the final member of the Raiders top 30 squad.

Ryan James will become Raider #374 after being named on the bench and will play his first NRL match since 21 April 2019.

Hooker Josh Hodgson returns from an ACL injury and will captain the side after an impressive performance in the trial.

After outstanding seasons last year, Josh Papalii, Joe Tapine and Dunamis Lui will start in the middle.

Hudson Young is set to fill the right edge spot left vacant by John Bateman with the consistent Elliott Whitehead on the left edge.

Jack Wighton and George Williams form the halves pairing while Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad completes the spine at fullback. Williams will be the likely goal kicker in Croker’s absence.

Bailey Simonsson has been named to partner Kris on the left with Curtis Scott and Jordan Rapana on the right side.

However, Simonsson recently told Canberra Weekly that he was expecting to play on the right side so a late swap wouldn’t surprise.

In a sign of the Raiders’ depth in the forwards, Emre Guler has been left out of the 17 with coach Ricky Stuart opting for James, Sia Soliola and Ryan Sutton on the bench. Corey Horsburgh and Corey Harawira-Naera are also suspended so the battle for spots is set to be fierce all season.

Siliva Havili is the final member of the 17, with his versatility giving him the nod over the unlucky Tom Starling.

Their opponents, the Wests Tigers, have a completely new look side for 2021 with recruit James Tamou set to lead them in his first game for the club.

Jacob Liddle will replace Harry Grant at hooker, while young gun Daine Laurie gets the start at fullback.

James Roberts will partner with former Raider Joseph Leilua in the centres with Luke Brooks and Moses Mbye in the halves.

Full Raiders and Tigers round one sides

 Raiders Tigers
1Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad1Daine Laurie
2Bailey Simonsson2David Nofoaluma
3Seb Kris3James Roberts
4Curtis Scott4Joseph Leilua
5Jordan Rapana5Asu Kepaoa
6Jack Wighton6Moses Mbye
7George Williams7Luke Brooks
8Josh Papalii8James Tamou
9Josh Hodgson9Jacob Liddle
10Dunamis Lui10Joe Ofahengaue
11Hudson Young11Luke Garner
12Elliott Whitehead12Luciano Leilua
13Joe Tapine13Alex Twal
 Bench Bench
14Siliva Havili14Tommy Talau
15Ryan Sutton15Thomas Mikaele
16Sia Soliola16Stefano Utoikamanu
17Ryan James17Russell Packer
 Reserves Reserves
18Sam Williams18Jock Madden
19Tom Starling19Michael Chee-Kam
20Emre Guler20Tukimihia Simpkins
21Harley Smith-Shields21Alex Seyfarth
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