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Raiders name squad to take on Cowboys
Gafa?s promotion came as the Raiders received more bad injury news today, winger Marshall Chalk ruled out for the next 4-6 weeks with a fractured jaw.
Experienced winger Michael Robertson comes into the Raiders team to replace Chalk, who played almost 50 minutes against the Bulldogs on Sunday with the jaw injury. X-rays this morning confirmed the fracture.
Young backrower Kris Kahler has also been recalled into the Raiders starting team to take over from Matt Adamson, out for up to six weeks with a rib cartilage injury.
Gafa has been Canberra?s reliable Mr Fix-It this season, playing every NRL game for the Raiders this year. It has been in a variety of positions, from the wing to the backrow.
Key play-maker Jason Smith is aiming to return for the following Round 17 match against the Penrith Panthers. But Raiders coach Matt Elliott has appointed Gafa to take charge in attack this Saturday.
?I certainly can?t question the effort the players are displaying, but we?ve suffered in our execution and we keep getting injuries to key players,? Elliott said.
?We haven?t played with a great deal of width and Matty [Gafa] certainly has the confidence and assertiveness to take charge of our team. That?s something we?ve probably been lacking.
?We need to play some football. We?ve got no problem going forward or accumulating momentum, but we?re not putting the cream on top of the cake at the moment.?
1. CLINTON SCHIFCOFSKE 2. JERMAINE ALE 3. DAVID HOWELL 4. CRAIG FRAWLEY 5. MICHAEL ROBERTSON 6. MATT GAFA 7. LINCOLN WITHERS 8. JOSH MILLER 9. SIMON WOOLFORD 10. TROY THOMPSON 11. KRIS KAHLER 12. IAN HINDMARSH 13. JASON CROKER
INTERCHANGE 14. ALAN TONGUE 15. ANDREW LOMU 16. JASON WILLIAMS 17. BEN CROSS