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Sunday, July 25, 2021

O’Donnell and Lui in for injury-hit Raiders

The injury-hit Canberra Raiders have been forced into some changes to the squad for their round nine clash against the Melbourne Storm at GIO Stadium on Saturday night, 11 July.

Ricky Stuart announced to the playing group on Tuesday 7 July that Kai O’Donnell would become Raider #365 and debut off the bench this Saturday.

O’Donnell has been on the reserves list the past couple of weeks but due to injuries to forwards Emre Guler and Sia Soliola, he has found himself on the bench for his first game. Dunamis Lui will also return and has been named to start in the front row.

Both Guler and Soliola are expected to face long stints on the sidelines, with Guler expected to miss 8-10 weeks with an ankle injury while Soliola could miss the rest of the season after a nasty facial fracture.

The Raiders’ forward depth will face a massive test for the next couple of months with John Bateman and Corey Horsburgh also out for extended periods.

Ricky Stuart has made one unforced change with Curtis Scott dropping out of the 17 and Jordan Rapana taking his place on the bench.

Scott has faced immense scrutiny after struggling for form in his first season at the Raiders and, after being shifted to the bench last week, he now finds himself out of the 17 altogether.

Rapana returns from a minor calf injury and could potentially come off the bench and play in the middle with the lack of forwards for Canberra.

The Storm had a great win last week but have lost winger Suliasi Vunivalu with Marion Seve named to replace him.

They have named Ryley Jacks in the starting side and Brandon Smith on the bench, but it wouldn’t surprise to see them do the same as last week and start Smith instead.

Cam Munster has also been named on the reserves list but would be a shock inclusion if brought in late after suffering a knee injury two weeks ago.

Full team:

1Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad1Ryan Papenhuyzen
2Nick Cotric2Marion Seve
3Jarrod Croker3Justin Olam
4Michael Oldfield4Paul Momirovski
5Bailey Simonsson5Josh Addo-Carr
6Jack Wighton6Ryley Jacks
7George Williams7Jahrome Hughes
8Josh Papalii8Jesse Bromwich
9Josh Hodgson9Cameron Smith
10Dunamis Lui10Christian Welch
11Hudson Young11Felise Kaufusi
12Elliott Whitehead12Kenneath Bromwich
13Joe Tapine13Dale Finucane
 Bench Bench
14Siliva Havili14Brandon Smith
15Kai O’Donnell15Tino Faasuamaleaui
16Ryan Sutton16Tom Eisenhuth
17Jordan Rapana17Nelson Asofa-Solomona
 Reserves Reserves
18Tom Starling18Darryn Schonig
19Matt Frawley19Cameron Munster
20Darby Medlyn20Brenko Lee
21Curtis Scott21Nicho Hynes

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