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Here is all you need to know about the Canberra Raiders ahead of the 2022 Telstra Premiership season.

The Lowdown

Overview

One of the biggest underperformers of 2021, the Raiders had several unexpected issues but the mid-year departure of halfback George Williams and long-term injury to fullback Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad were among the biggest. Jamal Fogarty is a very handy pick-up in the halves and the return of Nick Cotric is a boost to the backline stocks.

Possible best 17

1. Xavier Savage, 2. Jordan Rapana, 3. Jarrod Croker, 4. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, 5. Nick Cotric, 6. Jack Wighton, 7. Jamal Fogarty, 8. Josh Papalii, 9. Josh Hodgson, 10. Ryan Sutton, 11. Hudson Young, 12. Adam Elliott, 13. Elliott Whitehead, 14. Tom Starling, 15. Joseph Tapine, 16. Corey Horsburgh, 17. Corey Harawira-Naera.

'I can't wait to repay Ricky': Elliott

Key changes

He left a while ago now but Williams' absence in the halves is the biggest one, with former Titan Jamal Fogarty the likely No.7 to start in 2022. Sia Soliola (retired), Dunamis Lui (released) and Ryan James leave big gaps in the middle rotation, with Adam Elliott and Peter Hola the new forwards. The return of former NSW Origin winger Nick Cotric (Bulldogs) offsets the departure of Bailey Simonsson to Parramatta. Siliva Havili (Rabbitohs) has been a key depth player at the club for a few years while Curtis Scott and Caleb Aekins (both released) were not commanding first grade spots last year but their departures still affect depth.

Big guns working hard in pre-season

Health check

Jarrod Croker (knee) missed plenty of footy in 2021 and with two years plus an option remaining on his deal, will be one to watch heading into 2022. Nicoll-Klokstad made it back on the field by the end of 2021 while the rest of the squad, despite plenty of niggles last year, looks on track for round one. 

Biggest question mark

It's all about the playmaking for the Raiders. They got very one-dimensional at times last year and will be hoping Fogarty is the man to turn that around, Josh Hodgson is playing his final season in Canberra after signing with the Eels from 2023 and it remains to be seen how coach Ricky Stuart sees fit to use him, with Tom Starling increasingly demanding game time. If there are any concerns about Croker's fitness, the Raiders have plenty of young talent in the outside backs.

Opening month

The Raiders get a home game against the Sharks to kick things off on a Friday evening before a trip to Townsville in round two, back home for the Titans then a Mudgee game against Manly. All four of those and certainly the first three are winnable as the Raiders look for an improved effort in 2022.

Toughest stretch

The Raiders have dodged any particularly gruelling clusters of games, with arguably the toughest patch coming around Origin I with the Rabbitohs at Dubbo in round 11 leading into home games against the Eels and Roosters followed by Brisbane at Suncorp and back home for the Knights.

Raiders pre-season insight

Make it count

Conversely there is no long run of games against lower-tier opposition either. But if the Raiders are in finals contention heading into the final month they will eye a run of games against the Dragons, Knights, Sea Eagles and Tigers as a chance to finish strongly. Manly are tough but that game is in Canberra.

NRL Fantasy: Raiders 2022 prices

Hudson Young: EDG, $686,000
Jamal Fogarty: HLF, $655,000
Corey Harawira-Naera: EDG, $640,000
Josh Papali'i: MID, $635,000
Josh Hodgson: HOK, $627,000
Adam Elliott: MID/EDG, $598,000
Joseph Tapine: MID, $579,000
Jordan Rapana: CTR/WFB, $571,000
Jack Wighton: HLF, $569,000
Ryan Sutton: MID, $558,000
Elliott Whitehead: EDG, $551,000
Corey Horsburgh: MID, $492,000
Emre Guler: MID, $477,000
Matthew Timoko: CTR, $445,000
Sam Williams: HLF, $437,000
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad: WFB, $437,000
Tom Starling: HOK, $426,000
Harley Smith-Shields: CTR, $420,000
Sebastian Kris: CTR, $396,000
Nick Cotric: WFB/CTR, $369,000
Matt Frawley: HLF, $350,000
Xavier Savage: WFB, $350,000
Jarrod Croker: CTR, $292,000
Semi Valemei: WFB, $280,000
Brad Schneider: HLF, $240,000
Peter Hola: MID, $240,000
Albert Hopoate: WFB, $240,000
Trey Mooney: MID, $220,000
Harry Rushton: EDG, $220,000

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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