The injury-ridden Canberra Raiders have been given a double boost with the return of John Bateman and Curtis Scott for a clash with the North Queensland Cowboys.
Wigan-bound Bateman is set to play his first NRL match since last year's grand final after being named in the second-row for Saturday's clash in Townsville.
His return sees Hudson Young shift to lock, while Scott has been recalled to start in the centres after an arm infection prevented him from playing the last two rounds.
The loss of Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad sees Jordan Rapana shift to fullback, while Semi Valemei has his second start on the wing.
They've also named star forward pairing Josh Papalii and Joe Tapine in the 17 despite not knowing whether they'll be able to travel to Queensland without an influenza vaccination.
The Raiders submitted an exemption request for Papalii and Tapine last week but are yet to receive clearance from the Queensland government.
Ryan Sutton, who has been named on the interchange bench, says a denied request would be challenging for the Raiders' already decimated roster and hopes they'll be cleared to play this weekend.
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"It's going to be a battle because we're down on troops and can't have anymore," Sutton said.
"Time will tell, so we'll just have to see how it goes over the next few days."
So Bateman's return to the forward pack comes as a major boost to the wounded Raiders as they wait on Papalii and Tapine's fate.
It was feared the English second-rower wouldn't wear the lime-green jersey again after undergoing two surgeries on his shoulder.
Recruit Corey Harawira-Naera is also in line to make his season debut and been named on the bench to bolster Canberra's middle depth.
The New Zealand international signed a two-and-a-half year deal with the Raiders last week, having had his NRL deregistration overturned earlier this month.
He joined the Raiders for his first training session on Tuesday morning and Sutton is excited about his future with the club.
"He was in [on Monday]. He had some gumboots on and he was laughing, it's good to have him," Sutton said.
"He's a great international player and will bring heaps to the team.
"We've got a lot of depth in our squad, now with the addition of Corey and hopefully we'll have some more players back in the next few weeks. That'll be good and we can hit the ground running."
The inclusion of Bateman and Harawira-Naera sees rookies Kai O'Donnell and Harley Smith-Shields move onto the extended bench.
NRL ROUND 12
Saturday: Canberra Raiders v North Queensland Cowboys at Townsville, 5.30pm.
Raiders team list: 1. Jordan Rapana, 2. Semi Valemei, 3. Jarrod Croker (C), 4. Curtis Scott, 5. Nick Cotric, 6. Jack Wighton, 7. George Williams, 8. Josh Papalii, 9. Siliva Havili, 10. Dunamis Lui, 11. John Bateman, 12. Elliott Whitehead, 13. Hudson Young. Interchange: 14. Tom Starling, 15. Joe Tapine, 16. Ryan Sutton, 17. Corey Harawira-Naera. Reserves: 18. Sam Williams, 19. Harley Smith-Shields, 20. Kai O'Donnell, 21. Matt Frawley
Cowboys team list: 1. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow, 2. Kyle Feldt, 3. Justin O'Neill, 4. Connelly Lemuelu, 5. Murray Taulagi, 6. Daejarn Asi, 7. Jake Clifford, 8. Josh McGuire, 9. Reece Robson, 10. Jordan McLean, 11. Shane Wright, 12. Coen Hess, 13. Jason Taumalolo (c). Interchange: 14. Mitch Dunn, 15. Tom Gilbert,16. Gavin Cooper, 17. Francis Molo. Reserves: 18. John Asiata, 19. Ben Hampton, 20. Esan Marsters, 21. Jake Granville