Boyd's Raiders future up in the air as Titans and Knights

Boyd's Raiders future up in the air as Titans and Knights

Canberra Raiders prop Shannon Boyd's future remains up in the air as he prepares to face the team he's been linked to, as Raiders halfback Aidan Sezer hoses down speculation he's on the verge of re-signing for two years.

The Raiders named an unchanged 21 on Tuesday to take on the Gold Coast Titans at Canberra Stadium on Saturday, following their 18-8 drought-breaking win over North Queensland in Townsville last weekend.

Boyd's one of 10 Raiders players from that 21 who are off-contract at the end of the season.

Raiders halfback Aidan Sezer shrugged off contract talk like it was a Cowboys tackle.

Raiders halfback Aidan Sezer shrugged off contract talk like it was a Cowboys tackle.

The Raiders have tabled offers for all of their off-contract stars and coach Ricky Stuart has asked the players to give him an indication of their plans so the club could start finalising their roster for 2019 and beyond.


There's speculation Boyd has turned down the Raiders offer.

He's been linked to the Titans, who are looking for cover if Jarrod Wallace returns to the Brisbane Broncos, as well as the Newcastle Knights.

It's believed 22-year-old Wigan prop Ryan Sutton was on the Raiders' radar.

There's also speculation Sezer is set to re-sign with the Raiders for two years, but the Green Machine halfback said "nothing's changed" in regards to his contract status.

The hard-as-nails No.7 was solely focused on stringing together their second straight win when they take on the Titans on Saturday.

Sezer was linked with a return to his junior club Canterbury, but the Bulldogs don't have the space in next year's salary cap.

"Nothing's changed from my end, I'm here to talk about the game and not about contracts. I don't know what deadlines or anything they've put in place," Sezer said.

"I've addressed it numerous times and nothing's changed from my end."

Raiders hooker Siliva Havili's also off-contract, having signed a one-year NRL lifeline when he moved to Canberra.

He's started to find his feet filling in at dummy half as England international Josh Hodgson continued his recovery from a knee reconstruction.

The Raiders have offered Havili a contract and the Tongan rake was expecting it to be finalised in the next few weeks.


"Hopefully all that contract stuff sorts itself out in the next couple of weeks. I've just got to do what's right on the footy [field] and everything will take care of itself," he said.

Sezer said the Raiders' slow start to the season meant they were "chasing their tail a little bit".

The Titans overran the Raiders to come back from 18 points down to win 30-28 in round one.

But the Green Machine have won three of their lest four games to sit just one win outside the top eight and ahead of the Titans on points differential.

Canberra's win over the Cowboys wasn't pretty, but they were able to withstand a poor completion rate and a lack of possession to end a 12-year drought in Townsville.

Sezer said they took more out of that tough, gritty win than they would from a big win.

"We're known for blowing teams off the park and putting on a score, but getting wins like this it's good for our confidence and building a bit of momentum, especially with the defence side of things and hitting the nail on the head with our attitude," he said.

Havili said the win over the Cowboys wouldn't mean anything if they didn't back it up against the Titans.

The 25-year-old has played eight NRL games since joining the Raiders, taking his career total to 32.

Havili hopes to have a contract extension finalised in the coming weeks.

Havili hopes to have a contract extension finalised in the coming weeks.

Stuart revealed last week Hodgson could return in round 16 against the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium on June.

Havili was expecting Hodgson would slot straight back into the starting side when he was fit.

The nuggety Tongan has shown he has a lively running game out of dummy half and he's scored three tries so far this season - including one in his Raiders debut against the Titans.

"I know he's knocking on the door and he's going to come straight back in the team [when he's fit]," Havili said.

"I just need to keep playing good footy and hopefully I can take a bench role."


Saturday: Canberra Raiders v Gold Coast Titans at Canberra Stadium, 3pm. Tickets from Ticketek.

Raiders squad: 1. Jack Wighton, 2. Nick Cotric, 3. Jarrod Croker (c), 4. Joey Leilua, 5. Jordan Rapana, 6. Blake Austin, 7. Aidan Sezer, 8. Sia Soliola, 9. Siliva Havili, 10. Junior Paulo, 11. Joe Tapine, 12. Elliott Whitehead, 13. Josh Papalii. Interchange from: 14. Ata Hingano, 15. Shannon Boyd, 16. Luke Bateman, 17. Dunamis Lui, 18. Liam Knight, 19. Michael Oldfield, 20. Brad Abbey, 21. Jack Murchie.

Titans squad: 1. Michael Gordon, 2. Anthony Don, 3. Brendan Elliot, 4. Konrad Hurrell, 5. Phillip Sami, 6. Bryce Cartwright, 7. Ash Taylor, 8. Jarrod Wallace, 9. Mitch Rein, 10. Ryan James (c), 11. Kevin Proctor, 12. Will Matthews, 13. Jai Arrow.  Interchange from: 14. Max King, 15. Jack Stockwell, 16. Keegan Hipgrave, 17. Ryan Simpkins, 18. Leilani Latu, 19. Moeaki Fotuaika, 20. Brenko Lee, 21. Kane Elgey.

David Polkinghorne covers the Canberra Raiders, local rugby league, Canberra Cavalry, racing and cycling, along with every other sport, for The Canberra Times.

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