Ryan Sutton is happy to be back in the Canberra Raiders team but knows there is a big challenge to keep his spot.
Sutton played his first game of the season in the Raiders 14-6 win over the Wests Tigers on Saturday (13 June) after overcoming a calf injury.
Sutton was good in his return, playing 38 minutes and running for 122 metres off the bench and said he felt good back out on the field.
“Obviously it’s been a while and I’ve been itching for the opportunity,” Sutton said. “Good to get out there with the boys and get the two points which is the main thing.
“To be honest I felt really good. Credit to the rehab and conditioning staff for getting me in that position.”
The Raiders team named for this Sunday’s (21 June) clash with Manly at Campbelltown Stadium has illustrated just how tight competition is for spots in the Raiders forward pack.
Hudson Young has been named on the bench for his first game back since being suspended late last year, while Corey Horsburgh returns straight to lock after missing last week through illness.
Sia Soliola has been named to start in the front-row, with Dunamis Lui and Bailey Simonsson dropping out of the 17. Jordan Rapana keeps his starting spot on the wing.
Sutton also maintains his position on the bench but knows that the depth of the squad means it’s a week by week proposition.
He also alluded to perhaps Ricky Stuart rotating his middle forwards to keep up their match fitness with no NSW or Queensland cup for the reserves to play in.
“It’s definitely hard. We have got such a good team here, loads of competition week in week out so it is obviously a tough headache for the coach,” said Sutton.
“That’s the good thing that we’ve got in this squad, that we’ve got that depth and players that can just fit in here and there.
“I think it’s just going to be on ‘Stick’ (Ricky Stuart) and what he wants for the week.
“I think he’s spoken about that he’s going to rotate the middles.
“It’s definitely tough. We don’t have the NSW cup and Queensland cup playing at the minute so players are going to be lacking a bit of game fitness but the strength and conditioning staff are doing a great job.”
When pressed on the upcoming match with Manly and the recent rivalry between the sides, Sutton was strictly business.
“Just take every week as it comes, really. You can’t look too much into rivalries because they’re just a great team,” said Sutton.
“We just have to come up with a game plan where we know we can achieve something (a win).”
Manly have been forced to make changes to their side that defeated the Brisbane Broncos last year with Martin Tapau and Moses Suli both injured.
Here are the full lineups as they were announced today (16 June):
|1||Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad||1||Tom Trbojevic|
|2||Jordan Rapana||2||Tevita Funa|
|3||Jarrod Croker||3||Brad Parker|
|4||Curtis Scott||4||Brendan Elliot|
|5||Nick Cotric||5||Reuben Garrick|
|6||Jack Wighton||6||Dylan Walker|
|7||George Williams||7||Daly Cherry-Evans|
|8||Josh Papalii||8||Addin Fonua-Blake|
|9||Josh Hodgson||9||Danny Levi|
|10||Iosia Soliola||10||Taniela Paseka|
|11||Joseph Tapine||11||Joel Thompson|
|12||Elliott Whitehead||12||Curtis Sironen|
|13||Corey Horsburgh||13||Jake Trbojevic|
|14||Siliva Havili||14||Lachlan Croker|
|15||Emre Guler||15||Jack Gosiewski|
|16||Ryan Sutton||16||Sean Keppie|
|17||Hudson Young||17||Morgan Boyle|
|18||Dunamis Lui||18||Toafofoa Sipley|
|19||Bailey Simonsson||19||Abbas Miski|
|20||Matt Frawley||20||Haumole Olakau’atu|
|21||Tom Starling||21||Cade Cust|
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