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Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad has backed Ricky Stuart’s decision to bench him after the Raiders’ mixed form to start the year but vowed to fight his way back and earn the No.1 jersey again.

Nicoll-Klokstad was named to come off the bench for a second consecutive week by Stuart on Tuesday after getting just 15 minutes against the Panthers last start.

The 26-year-old was a mainstay in Stuart’s side since arriving at Canberra but hasn’t reached the same type of form of late after missing most of last year’s campaign with a neck injury.

By the time he got on the field on Sunday the Panthers had a 24-6 advantage with the Raiders starved of territory and yardage.

“It’s a bit different for me, it’s just the role the team needs me to play at the moment,” Nicoll-Klokstad told NRL.com.

“Sticky is the coach for a reason and it’s what he believes is best for this team.

“He’s in a tough position just as we are as players. You’ve got couch potatoes at home thinking they can coach a team and have never even coached an under 6’s side before at a local club.

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“We’re right behind him as a team and I’m not bigger than the team or the club. Hopefully it’s not for too much longer and I can get back in the one jersey soon.”

Stuart said he was happy with how his selection calls went despite the result last week with the Raiders coach naming the same set-up for the side’s clash with the Warriors.

After going down by a record 60-point margin, the Warriors face an equally desperate Raiders side looking to turn their season around.

“We’ve got a quality side but it’s a matter of getting us to click a little bit better,” Nicoll-Klokstad said ahead of the clash with his former club.

“They’ve got really enthusiastic outside backs and a strong forward pack with SJ and Reece there as well, it will be a tough game. You can never write them off.”

Off the field and Nicoll-Klokstad said he had a “huge weight” taken off his shoulders with the opening of the New Zealand borders allowing his two sons Rio and Kyrie to fly over and visit him.

While he didn’t want to use it as an excuse for any on-field performances, the 26-year-old has been more settled the past fortnight.

“It was their first game in a few years last week at home, I’m grateful everything has opened up and my wife has been very supportive,” he said.

“It’s massive, any parent can relate. My kids and wife are my world. It’s been hard to take extended periods away from them, even my boys felt that way too.

“Being able to communicate with them as they’re a bit older, it used to be four to six months but now it’s only 10 weeks max now.”

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