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Kurt Baptiste ready to win Canberra Raiders hooker 'musical chairs'

Raiders hooker Kurt Baptiste knows he's in for a fight to retain a spot in the squad.

Raiders hooker Kurt Baptiste knows he's in for a fight to retain a spot in the squad. Photo: Jamila Toderas

After an untimely shoulder injury ruined his chance at Brisbane, Canberra hooker Kurt Baptiste must be feeling a sense of deja vu. 

But the 23-year-old is determined to ensure his latest comeback has a happier ending when he locks horns with Glen Buttriss and Josh Hodgson for dummy-half spots next season. 

Baptiste is on the verge of re-signing with the Raiders, despite a shoulder injury cutting his return from the wilderness to just five games. 

The Raiders youngster and prop David Shillington (pectoral) both had successful surgery on Tuesday, and Baptiste hopes to be back in time to press his claims for round one. 

Baptiste was once ahead of established Broncos hooker Andrew McCullough before injury intervened, limiting him to five games in Brisbane. 

He is set to begin next year outside Canberra's top 25 squad, but is more prepared for the challenge this time. 

"Ricky [Stuart, coach] always told me there was going to be other players he might get and there'd be a bit of competition there,'' Baptiste said. 

"He was happy with how I was going, I think, before I did the shoulder. 

"I'm hopeful next year I might get a bit more of an opportunity to show I can play.''

Baptiste played in the halves as a junior, but was shifted to hooker by Broncos coach Anthony Griffin, when he was in charge of the under-20s, to accommodate Ben Hunt. 

"He [McCullough] didn't get injured and I never really got a chance to impress,'' Baptiste said. 

"I got a couple of games in 2011 and injured my shoulder, that set me back and I couldn't get a look in again. 

"I'm definitely ready for the challenge and hope to be back for the trial games next year.

"Obviously there's going to be a few signings. It's great for the club and it's healthy there's a lot of competitions for spots. It makes everyone more hungry.''

Four Nations 2014

Round 1
Sat, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
ENG 32 vs SAM 26 Stats
AUS 12 vs NEWZ 30 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
NEWZ 14 vs SAM 12 Report Stats
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
AUS 16 vs ENG 12 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 08 NovTimes shown AEDT
NEWZ 16 vs ENG 14 Report Stats
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
AUS 44 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Final
Sat, 15 NovTimes shown AEDT
NEWZ 22 vs AUS 18 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Four Nations 2014
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 3 3 0 0 22 6
Australia 3 2 1 0 12 4
England 3 1 2 0 0 2
Samoa 3 0 3 0 -34 0
View all
 
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