Ricky Stuart is standing by his desire to bring Canberra’s “best 20” to Bega.
The likes of Jarrod Croker, Josh Hodgson, Aidan Sezer, Josh Papalii, Elliott Whitehead, Nick Cotric and Sia Soliola will all have their first hit out for the season, while Joe Tapine will back up from his strong performance for the Maori All-Stars on Friday night.
Michael Oldfield, Joey Leilua, John Bateman and Jordan Rapana will miss the match with injury, but all players with the exception of Jordan Rapana will be available for selection in round one.
“I was very pleased with how our younger players performed against Parramatta’s NRL players,” Stuart said. “The team we take to Bega will be our strongest team that we have available.”
“We will be looking to give our main squad around 60 minutes and we will be looking to field our strongest team while we’re down there.”
Stuart said he was leaving some options open that will give a number of the club’s younger players the opportunity to back up from Friday nights trial win against the Eels.
“What I really like about our squad is that there is a lot of young players coming through pushing a couple of our senior players which is really healthy competition,” Stuart said.
Stuart said the list was in part a reaction to what was expected to be a strong roster from the Bulldogs.
Coach Dean Pay has not disappointed in naming his own list on Tuesday morning, a 30-strong contingent of existing and budding Bulldogs.
Tathra’s own Adam Elliott would not miss this game for the world, but he will be joined by a core of the club’s top outfit including Keiran Foran, Josh Jackson, Lachlan Lewis, Dylan Napa and Will Hopoate among others.
Pay has also left plenty of avenues open to give some game time for his players waiting in the wings.
The match is at the Bega Recreation Ground from 5pm on Saturday.
Tickets are $15 per person and available at a number of stores Listed Here
You can also buy them online from the Raiders Shop here
Raiders Squad (Alphabetical)
Jarrod Croker ©
Josh Hodgson ©
Both clubs will be in the area from as early as Wednesday and have a number of public appearances including open training runs – Details for those times are available here