Battle is on for Raiders No.7 jumper - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Battle is on for Raiders No.7 jumper

By Steve Jancetic 16/02/2009 08:16:03 PM Comments (0)

New Canberra coach David Furner will give rival halfbacks Marc Herbert and Josh McCrone equal opportunity to stake a claim for the vacant Raiders No.7 jumper.

The two-week showdown begins in earnest at Redcliffe on Saturday night when the Raiders take on Brisbane with the second leg coming against the Bulldogs the following weekend.

Herbert, who impressed in his five top grade appearances in 2008 before injury curtailed his campaign, was believed to be frontrunner to partner Test representative Terry Campese in the halves.

The pair forged a instant combination when Herbert came into the top grade to replace the suspended Todd Carney late last year, the 22-year-old earmarked as the heir apparent when Carney was eventually shown the door.

But the return of McCrone to the nation's capital, following a forgetful two-year stint with Penrith, has ensured Herbert won't have it all his own way.

"Josh McCrone's a local who's comfortable with the players around him and both (McCrone and Herbert) will have a good opportunity to impress come the two trials," Furner said.

"If they're both playing well, it'll be a decision based on what's going to be best for the team.

"We need a half that's going to support (Campese) and also be able to take the workload off Campo which both Herbert and McCrone are capable of doing.

"I'll look at combinations there both with Campo on the field and also with Herbert and McCrone together."

Furner will take a squad of about 26 players to Queensland with prop Troy Thompson, who is recovering from an Achilles injury, the only fulltime squad member unavailable for the trip.

The Raiders will spend just over a week in Queensland with the club to spend the time in between trial games in camp at Runaway Bay.

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