HEART-STOPPER | Penrith Panthers have held out a fast-finishing Canberra Raiders outfit with a 19-18...
47 mins ago
Former Australian Test forward Jason Smith will debut for Canberra in Saturday night's NRL trial against Brisbane in Toowoomba.
Raiders coach Matt Elliott has named his strongest available squad, pairing Smith with Lincoln Withers in the halves.
Canberra fullback and 2004 player of the year Clinton Schifcofske will captain the side in the absence of skipper Simon Woolford.
Woolford still has a one-match suspension to serve, but will play for the Raiders in a Premier League trial in Rockhampton, also on Saturday night.
Elliott said he was looking forward to seeing the 32-year-old Smith in action.
Smith played 152 first grade games for the Bulldogs and Parramatta as well as 16 matches for Queensland and 16 Tests for Australia before spending four seasons in the English Super League with Hull.
"It's nice to have someone with his on-field vision, Elliott said. He's a true professional and I've been absolutely delighted with his pre-season.
Withers, a Canberra junior who made his NRL debut with the Raiders in 2000, is set to make his official return following stints at the Wests Tigers and St George Illawarra.
The 23-year-old has recovered from the minor knee injury that kept him out of last weekend's trial against the Bulldogs.
Centre Craig Frawley will play his first game against Brisbane, the club he left at the end of 2004.
"I was happy with how our combinations improved towards the end of that game," Elliott said of his club's 30-4 victory over the Bulldogs in their opening trial at Gosford last weekend.
"Obviously the Bulldogs weren't at full-strength, so things will start to ramp up this weekend against the Broncos."
Canberra Raiders;Clinton Schifcofske, Phil Graham, Craig Frawley, Adam Mogg, Nathan Smith, Jason Smith, Lincoln Withers, Ryan O'Hara, Alan Tongue, Troy Thompson, Matt Adamson, Ian Hindmarsh, Michael Hodgson, Michael Weyman, Kris Kahler, Terry Martin, Matt Gafa, Terry Campese, Jermaine Ale.