Rugby League


Campese's knee takes him out for another season

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Canberra Raiders stand-in captain David Shillington says it is up to the club’s senior players to take on more responsibility to ensure Terry Campese’s season-ending injury doesn’t spell the end of his team’s finals aspirations.

Shillington is expected to take on the top job for the rest of the season after it was announced this morning that Campese had torn his anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee for the second time in as many years.

With fellow vice-captain Brett White also sidelined with a torn ACL, Shillington - currently in Auckland with the Australian team ahead of Friday’s Test against New Zealand - is expected to skipper the side for the remainder of the competition.

‘‘I probably need to step up with a bit more talk and direction now that Campo’s out,’’ Shillington said.

‘‘There’s a few of us there who are leaders within the team.

‘‘With Campo out now it’s up to me and the other senior players to step it up a notch, assume control and responsibility there.


‘‘Last year with Campo gone a lot of talk went missing and a lot of direction was gone.

‘‘I think this year we’ve got a better group of leaders in the team and the young halves have another year of experience under their belt.

‘‘I think we’re in a lot better stead.’’

Bookmakers quickly reacted to the news of Campese’s injury, with TAB Sportsbet winding the Raiders out from $3 to $4 to make the top eight.

The Raiders have also gone from $7 into $5.50 for most losses in the season, and are now $2 outsiders in next weekend’s match against the Cronulla Sharks.

The Raiders’ premiership odds are unchanged at $51.

Campese was believed to have torn his meniscus in last Friday’s 30-6 loss to the Brisbane Broncos, but surgery yesterday revealed the damage was worse than first thought.

White tore his ACL in the round five loss to the North Queensland Cowboys, and received a message from Campese on Tuesday night.

‘‘He sent me a text last night, saying it looks like we’re going to be training partners for the next nine months,’’ White said.

‘‘It’s a bit of a shock.

‘‘Speaking to him the day before he was looking at the meniscus tear and hoping it was only going to be four weeks and not 12 weeks.

Campese will undergo the traditional surgery rather than the more risky Ligament Augmentation and Reconstruction System (LARS) procedure.

The recovery period for the traditional surgery is nine months while athletes who have the LARS have been back on the field in a third of the time.

‘‘We did discuss the LARS surgery, however, Terry’s long term health is of the utmost importance, and for that reason the traditional ACL surgery was agreed as the best option,’’ Raiders chief executive Don Furner said.

‘‘The club will stand by Terry in this tough time and ensure he gets the best medical care and rehabilitation.

‘‘We request he is given time to get over the reconstructive surgery and this latest setback.’’