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Canberra Raiders rookie Jeremy Hawkins will be unable to make his NRL debut this weekend against the Gold Coast Titans, after the Raiders application for him to play was denied by the NRL salary cap team.
The Raiders made a formal submission to the NRL for Hawkins to play after Jack Wighton was ruled out with a broken thumb, however the NRL ruled the Raiders second tier salary cap was at its limit and Hawkins could not play this weekend with other eligible players available.
Raiders CEO Don Furner said although it was disappointing for Hawkins and the Raiders that he could not make his debut, the Raiders have accepted the NRL's decision.
"With injuries and a number of players debuting this season we applied for a second tier salary cap exemption for Jeremy to play this weekend but it's been denied by the NRL," Furner said. "We've debuted four players this season (Mitch Cornish, Matt Allwood, Shannon Boyd and Brenko Lee) and last week Kurt Baptiste came into the team which has seen us reach our second tier limit.
"With injuries to Jack Wighton and a season ending injury to Edrick Lee earlier this year we were hopeful of an exemption, but we respect the NRL's decision. It's disappointing for Jeremy but we're confident he'll get his chance to make his NRL debut with the Raiders in the future."