Canberra Raiders captain Jarrod Croker has called on his senior players to stand up in the face of a State of Origin and injury crisis.
That includes himself - an ominous sign for not only the Canterbury Bulldogs, but also Jason Croker's try scoring record.
The Raiders are looking to break a three-game losing streak when they face the bottom-placed Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night.
But they've got three players out for Origin duty - Jack Wighton, Nick Cotric and Josh Papalii - and another four out injured - Jordan Rapana (knee), John Bateman (eye socket), Josh Hodgson (thumb) and Joey Leilua (neck).
Although Bateman could be a late inclusion if the specialist clears him on Friday.
It means they'll have six players with less than 10 NRL games experience running out on Saturday.
Croker said it was up to the experienced players to lead the way.
The 28-year-old needs just two tries to draw level to Jason Croker's 120 as the all-time Raiders' leading try-scorer.
"We need to stand up. That's myself included, [I've] probably been a bit quiet," Croker said.
"I'll be talking to a few senior players and making sure they're right and they're leading from the front on Saturday.
"There's only a handful of us in there at the moment.
"There's a lot of young kids that are looking up to some of us senior guys and we really need to step it up.
"We can't expect those young fellas to come in and bring that energy. We need to lead from the front and bring those guys with us.
"I'll be speaking to a few of our senior boys about that later in the week."
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Returning Raiders half Aidan Sezer said the adversity of having so many key players out would show the true character of the Green Machine.
A misdiagnosed oblique injury stalled Sezer's start to the season and he's been waiting for his chance to return to the fold.
He's desperate to hold on to his jersey when Wighton likely returns for their round 13 clash against the Wests Tigers next week.
Sezer's a more-than-handy replacement for Wighton with 139 NRL games under his belt.
"It will show us what we're really made of, the underbelly of the side," he said.
"It's easier when you've got all your star players in to perform well, but now I think shows the true character of the squad.
"So hopefully we can put in a good performance and get a good result for the boys."
Bateman only returned from a few weeks' leave visiting family and friends in England on Tuesday and went straight to training.
He'll see a specialist in Sydney on Friday with the hope of being cleared to face the Bulldogs - although a return against the Tigers was more likely.
"I think he's still a couple of weeks away. Maybe it's a possibility, I'm not going to rule it out, it's a possibility, but how big that possibility is I'm not too sure," Sezer said.
"He's great to have around the team. He's an influential player and one of our leaders.
"If he does come back into the team it will be an added boost, but we're not really banking on it."
NRL ROUND 12
Saturday: Canberra Raiders v Canterbury Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium, 7.35pm.
Raiders squad: 1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, 2. Bailey Simonsson, 3. Jarrod Croker (C), 4. Sebastian Kris, 5. Michael Oldfield, 6. Aidan Sezer, 7. Sam Williams, 8. Corey Horsburgh, 9. Siliva Havili, 10. Dunamis Lui, 11. Joe Tapine, 12. Elliott Whitehead, 13. Hudson Young. Interchange: 14. Tom Starling, 15. Emre Guler, 16. Sia Soliola, 17. Ryan Sutton. Reserves: 18. Ata Hingano, 19. Royce Hunt, 20. Andre Niko, 21. John Bateman.
Bulldogs squad: 1. Nick Meaney, 2. Christian Crichton, 3. Marcelo Montoya, 4. Will Hopoate, 5. Reimis Smith, 6. Kieran Foran, 7. Jack Cogger, 8. Aiden Tolman, 9. Jeremy Marshall-King, 10. Ofahiki Ogden, 11. Josh Jackson, 12. Corey Harawira-Naera, 13. Chris Smith. Interchange: 14. Rhyse Martin, 15. Raymond Faitala-Mariner, 16. Danny Fualalo, 17. Jesse Sue. Reserves: 19. Michael Lichaa, 20. Lachlan Lewis, 21. Kerrod Holland, 23. Adam Elliott.