Last season was blighted by injuries to key players – what hope the Raiders returning to top eight in 2012?
Canberra are desperate to rediscover some form after a pretty rotten 2011. On paper they have reasons to be optimistic but transferring the squad’s undoubted potential into points will not prove easy.
The return to fitness of playmaker Terry Campese, who missed almost all of last season, is a massive boost. Campese played State of Origin in 2009 and adds another dimension to the Raiders attack.
However, coach David Furner also has his headaches – who will replace the retired Alan Tongue as captain and who will partner Campese in the halves?
Players in: Shaun Berrigan (Warriors)
Coach: David Furner – Raiders legend Furner has delivered one finals appearance in three seasons and could pay the price if Canberra fail to make the eight once again.
Breakthrough year: Josh Papalii – Teenage forward who more than held his own when thrown into first grade midway through last year and looks a genuine talent. Outside bet for international honours.
Young gun: Matt McIlwrick – Highly promising Kiwi hooker who has impressed in the Raiders under 20s set-up and could solve a problem position for Canberra.