Ricky Stuart

Battle on his hands … Parramatta coach Ricky Stuart at his charity golf day. He brushed aside questions about Josh Papalii. Photo: Colleen Petch

THEY spilled blood together to help Canberra to their last premiership, but there will be no room for nostalgia as Ricky Stuart and David Furner ramp up their battle for Josh Papalii's signature.

While Parramatta coach Stuart was playing at Royal Canberra in his charity golf day on Monday, the Raiders officially began their quest to stop Papalii's defection to the Eels.

Canberra board member Terry Weber, a senior partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, met with corporate sponsors keen to help bolster Papalii's contract through third-party assistance.

Paramatta announced on Friday night they had signed the Raiders back-rower on a $1.5 million, three-year deal, beginning next year.

Under NRL guidelines, Canberra have until round 13 to change Papalii's mind, and club officials are privately optimistic they can do so.

Stuart's golf day raises money for autism research, a condition his daughter has, but he teed off at the media before doing so with his clubs.

He refused to discuss the Papalii situation, brushing aside reporters when asked about the contract stand-off.

Weber helped the Raiders re-sign star fullback Josh Dugan last year, and told Fairfax Media he would ''do everything possible'' to also help keep Papalii in lime green.

''Terry's influence, we're going to need that to get close [to Parramatta's offer],'' Raiders coach Furner said. ''That's why that rule [round 13] is in place, it gives the incumbent club the last possible chance.

''Terry's a big supporter of the Raiders and we're very happy about it, but it's going to take time.

''I said to him [Papalii] on Saturday he just has to be thinking about footy, and he assured me he'll be doing that. We're lucky to have that round 13 [clause], and we have an opportunity.''

Papalii is one of a host of Raiders stars off contract at the end of this season, with halfback Sam Williams, centre Jarrod Croker, second-rower Joel Thompson, hooker Glen Buttriss and prop Brett White heading the list.

The Raiders traditionally lock up required players well before contracts expire, but the fact the salary cap for this season was not settled until last week hindered those efforts.

Furner conceded the club is fighting an uphill battle to keep the squad intact, regardless of how the Papalii situation is resolved.

''Josh is still a priority, but we've got other priorities as well,'' Furner said. ''Those other players are priorities as well. We can get to a certain mark with Josh and we're hoping that all gets sorted out.

''I'd like to keep them all [but the] reality will be I probably can't. As players are playing more first grade and becoming better players with opportunities to represent … the reality is you can't. ''

The Raiders have been a vocal campaigner for junior concessions for some time, and Furner insists the idea has merit.

Furner said his team must guard against contract discussions becoming a distraction as they look to qualify for finals in consecutive years for the first time since 2003-04.