The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
28 hours ago - 2 Likes
Veteran forward Jason Croker will lead the Raiders into battle on Saturday night, after he was named as Captain for the Raiders important match against the Eels at Canberra Stadium.
The 308 match veteran will lead the Raiders in regular skipper Clinton Schifcofske's absence, after Schifcofske joined teammate Adam Mogg in Melbourne this week for Queensland?s State of Origin team.
Croker has proven his durability again this season with an unbroken run of matches for the Raiders, playing in all 16 of the clubs NRL fixtures so far this season.
Leading the side is something Croker is not unfamiliar with, after taking the Raiders out several times in the past, including a significant stretch last season when Simon Woolford was out with suspension.
Croker said although it is always an honour to lead the Raiders out onto Canberra Stadium, a win against the Eels is still the most important part of the day.
?I was captain a few times last year and I?m looking forward to it,? Croker said. ?Hopefully we can get the two points in what is an important game for us.?
With Schifcofske and Mogg missing from the line-up the Raiders have turned to Marshall Chalk and Craig Frawley to fill in for the missing pair, but Croker said experience will not be an issue for the Raiders on Saturday.
?We?ve got a fair bit of experience there still so we won?t change things much,? he said. ?Jason Smith, Alan Tongue and I have all played a lot of footy so it won?t be an issue.?
Raiders Coach Matt Elliott said the decision to make Croker captain in Schifcofske?s absence was not a hard one, and said he knows the amount of respect Croker demands within the team.
?Jason was the logical choice to lead the side and has done a great job in the past,? Elliott said. ?The boys love playing for Toots and I?m sure Saturday will be no exception.?