Opportunity has come-a-knocking for Josh McCrone in 2010, with the young Canberra half-back given the chance to face Brisbane in Monday’s NRL clash at Canberra Stadium.
With injury already cutting a swathe through the Raiders squad, coach David Furner has thrown caution to the wind just a game into the season and made some notable changes.
McCrone will get a call-up over regular half-back Marc Herbert, while Furner is also toying with the possibility of introducing raw forward James Stuart into the mix.
The loss of Josh Miller (shoulder) and Danny Galea (thumb) in last week’s opening-round loss to Penrith means Joe Picker has also gone straight into the starting side.
The Raiders are desperate for a win and Furner believes beating the Broncos will require a different approach.
“I’m looking at playing a different style against the Broncos and that change for Josh McCrone suits that,” Furner said.
“Just the style that he can play [compared to] Herbert, it’ll probably give us a little more in attack.
“They’ve both got their attributes to bring to the team, but Joshy’s picked in there to play Broncos.”
Furner would much rather a settled squad each week, but concedes injury has put that hope to bed.
“I try to get as close as I can to the team week in, week out, unfortunately there’s injuries that take that away from you,” he said.
The Raiders are nursing an already-extensive injury list, which has been upped to six following Galea and Miller’s injuries last weekend.
“It’s a little bit unlucky for players, but you can’t help that – it’s a collision sport,” Furner said.
“It does dwindle the squad a little bit, but the guys that have got their opportunities… you see a lot of players take it.”
The Raiders hammered Brisbane 56-0 last time the sides met at Canberra Stadium, but Furner said that meant little this season.
“It’s 2010,” he said, adding Canberra would have to be at their best defensively against Brisbane.
Israel Folau is considered a definite starter for the Broncos despite concerns about a strained AC joint.
Vice-captain Corey Parker is due to fly down to the nation’s capital early on Monday but could still be a late exclusion if his wife goes into labour.