White Raiders' captaincy candidates

By Jon Tuxworth
Updated August 25 2014 - 11:13pm, first published 9:00pm
Retiring Raiders prop Brett White says the club's young leaders will step up next year. Photo: Melissa Adams
Retiring Raiders prop Brett White says the club's young leaders will step up next year. Photo: Melissa Adams

 

Retiring Canberra Raider Brett White is adamant his departure and Terry Campese's uncertain future won't create a leadership void next season, and backs  Jarrod Croker or Shaun Fensom as potential long-term captains.

White believes skipper Campese can prove his doubters wrong and force his way back into first grade, after returning from injury in NSW Cup with Mounties on Saturday. 

Vice-captain White also missed Sunday's 22-12 win at Cronulla with a groin strain. With fellow experienced props David Shillington (injury) and Tom Learoyd-Lahrs (overlooked) also missing, the Raiders fielded one of the youngest teams in its history. 

In-form Croker co-captained the Raiders with Josh McCrone for the first time against Cronulla, and overtook Mal Meninga into third place on Canberra's pointscorer's list.

Both are goalkicking centres, but White is convinced Croker has the potential to emulate the three-time premiership captain further as the club's next leader.

"Certainly [he could], sometimes you forget how young he is but I don't think age is an issue," White said. 

"The other one is Fenno. I don't know who's there long term, but I'm sure they'd both do a great job.

"I've really noticed the last few weeks Crokes has done a lot of talking, he's really grown as a leader. 

 "He's certainly the right sort of person to be in that role. He does the right thing and is a really honest type of guy, which is want you want from your leaders.

"In terms of keeping blokes focused on the job and ramming home the importance of training well, he's been great. "

Lock Fensom is no certainty to play in round one next season after he ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in round 21 against the Warriors. 

White hopes Canberra won't have to choose a new skipper just yet. He backed Campese to battle through his latest adversity and prove his worth. 

"He's in a tough position, but I watched the first set of that Mounties game the other day and ... he had the right attitude and was determined," White said. 

"Knowing Campo, I have no doubt he'll do everything he can to get back to his best. 

"It's tough for him, there's plenty of knockers out there who want to let him know how they fell and how he's going, but he still rises to it. 

"It just shows his qualities."

White is a chance to return for Saturday's home clash with Wests Tigers at Canberra Stadium, but isn't willing to put a potential farewell match at home against Parramatta next week in jeopardy. 

The 32-year-old played 17 minutes with his injury in last week's loss to St George Illawarra. 

"I've done a fair bit of running but haven't trained with the team yet, we'll see how it goes this week," he said. 

"I really want to play that final game and get a farewell, I certainly won't put that at risk. 

"The other guys like [young props] Shannon Boyd and Paul Vaughan did really well on the weekend, I don't want to end up being a passenger."

SATURDAY

NRL round 25: Canberra Raiders v Wests Tigers at Canberra Stadium, 5.30pm

Tickets available from Ticketek

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