AAP

Canberra hooker Matt McIlwrick is just one of several young Raiders players never to have lined up alongside his captain Terry Campese in the NRL.

Edrick Lee, Sandor Earl, Anthony Milford and Joel Edwards being the others, that could soon change with 28-year-old Campese named on an extended bench to play the Warriors at Canberra Stadium on Saturday.

Former NSW and Australian representative Campese has had a horror run of injuries, with two knee reconstructions and a serious groin injury limiting him to just eight matches since 2010.

Despite Campese being declared medically fit to play, the Raiders are still tossing up whether to give him extra recovery time with a bye scheduled for next weekend.

"Just this morning, (Campese) was talking about how well he has been eating so he's obviously pretty excited to get out there and strap on the boots again," 21-year-old McIlwrick said.

"It's fantastic, especially for the young blokes. His experience and his leadership helps us out a lot."

"It's going to give the team a little bit more structure. I'm looking forward to that opportunity."

A one-eyed Kiwi supporter, McIlwrick is the first to admit he'll be yelling at the top of his lungs for his birth nation in the Trans-Tasman Test in Canberra on Friday week.

But first he has some Kiwi belting of his own to do in the nation's capital.

"I used to follow the Warriors when I was younger and I played with some of the younger blokes, Shaun Johnson and whatnot in the Junior Kiwis, so I'm looking forward to that opportunity," he said.

McIlwrick - who is off contract at the end of the season - has been given the reins at rake against his childhood team due to first-choice hooker Glen Buttriss sitting out the match with a shoulder injury.

He says he's going to grab the chance with both hands.

"They like me running (from dummy half) as much as possible so I've just got to stick to my strengths," he said.

"I will just let my footy do the talking and hopefully (my contract) will take care of itself.

"It's a great club and they look after me well so I've just got to keep putting my hand up each week and hope for the best."