Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs head coach Trent Barrett has named a reconfigured squad to take on the Canberra Raiders at Magic Round this Saturday.
Both sides have been doing it tough in the past month and will be looking to salvage their 2021 NRL Premiership Season when they battle it out at Suncorp Stadium.
Canberra Raiders have lost four of their previous NRL regular season fixtures, but have won the past four meetings against the Belmore outfit dating back to 2018. Ricky Stuart will be expecting a lot more out of his troops on the weekend, knowing the Green Machine have been performing well below their expectations.
Ultimate Security Match Preview: Round 10 v Raiders
Bulldogs: Canterbury-Bankstown have made a host of changes, with the most notable being Jake Averillo named at halfback to pair up with fellow Westfield Sports High School alumni Brandon Wakeham in the halves. With Corey Allan out injured with a shoulder injury, Nick Meaney makes the shift into the centres to partner the incoming Tuipulotu Katoa on the wing. Renouf Atoni anchors the backrow, while Matt Doorey has been promoted to the bench with Ofahiki Ogden.
Raiders: Josh Hodgson makes his return to the bench after succumbing to a calf injury in the Raider's Round 6 encounter against the Parramatta Eels. Semi Valemei will feature for the first time this season after Jordan Rapana was ruled out with a hamstring injury he suffered in Wagga Wagga against the Newcastle Knights last Saturday.
Fullback for Bulldogs is number 1 Dallin Watene-ZelezniakFullback for Raiders is number 1 Caleb Aekins
Winger for Bulldogs is number 2 Nick CotricWinger for Raiders is number 2 Bailey Simonsson
Centre for Bulldogs is number 3 Will HopoateCentre for Raiders is number 3 Sebastian Kris
Centre for Bulldogs is number 4 Nick MeaneyCentre for Raiders is number 4 Curtis Scott
Winger for Bulldogs is number 5 Tuipulotu KatoaWinger for Raiders is number 5 Semi Valemei
Five-Eighth for Bulldogs is number 6 Brandon WakehamFive-Eighth for Raiders is number 6 Jack Wighton
Halfback for Bulldogs is number 7 Jake AverilloHalfback for Raiders is number 7 George Williams
Prop for Bulldogs is number 10 Luke ThompsonProp for Raiders is number 8 Josh Papalii
Hooker for Bulldogs is number 9 Sione KatoaHooker for Raiders is number 9 Tom Starling
Prop for Bulldogs is number 16 Ava SeumanufagaiProp for Raiders is number 10 Emre Guler
2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 11 Adam Elliott2nd Row for Raiders is number 11 Corey Harawira-Naera
2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 12 Chris Smith2nd Row for Raiders is number 12 Elliott Whitehead
Lock for Bulldogs is number 13 Renouf AtoniLock for Raiders is number 15 Dunamis Lui
Interchange for Bulldogs is number 14 Bradley DeitzInterchange for Raiders is number 13 Hudson Young
Interchange for Bulldogs is number 15 Corey WaddellInterchange for Raiders is number 14 Josh Hodgson
Interchange for Bulldogs is number 17 Matt DooreyInterchange for Raiders is number 16 Corey Horsburgh
Interchange for Bulldogs is number 23 Ofahiki OgdenInterchange for Raiders is number 17 Ryan James
Reserve for Bulldogs is number 20 Joe StimsonReserve for Raiders is number 19 Matthew Timoko
- Referee: Chris Butler
- Touch Judge: Todd Smith
- Touch Judge: Tyson Brough
- Senior Review Official: Matt Noyen
Luke Thompson v Josh Papali'i: Luke Thompson continues to be the shining light in the Belmore forward Pack. The Englishman will come up against Josh Papali'i for the first time in his NRL career when they face off at Suncorp Stadium. He will be entrusted with putting his side on the front foot and providing good field position for young halves pairing Jake Averillo and Brandon Wakeham.
Green Machine enforcer Josh Papali'i returned to the Raider's starting line-up last weekend against the Knights. The Australian international put in a respectable performance, highlighted by a barging run through the middle of the Newcastle defence in the second half to create a try scoring chance for halfback George Williams.
Thompson has been a consistent performer for the Pack in what has been a tough season for the Boys from Belmore. The bruising forward has averaged 136 running metres, 55 post contact metres and 2 tackle busts for the 2021 NRL Premiership Season.
Papali'i has put up almost identical stats for the year, though is expected to lift in intensity with kick off to State of Origin next month a motivating factor for the Queenslander.
The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs travel north to face the Canberra Raiders at Suncorp Stadium this Saturday. Don't miss out on this week's Magic Round fixture with tickets on sale here.