Beanies and skins. That's the simple way the Green Machine is preparing for a 4000 kilometre return trip to the tropics in the harsh Canberra winter.
Raiders head of physical performance Nigel Ashley-Jones has made it mandatory for players to wear beanies and extra layers at training ahead of Saturday's clash with the North Queensland Cowboys in Townsville.
The NRL's fly-in fly-out approach to match days gives Canberra limited time to acclimatise to the warmer weather and humidity.
The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast a maximum temperature of 25 degrees in Townsville this weekend. That's 11 degrees warmer than what's predicted for Canberra.
Then there's the sub-zero morning frost to consider. From departure to arrival, the Green Machine could be faced with a temperature change of more than 20 degrees.
So the Raiders are trying to combat the cold Canberra mornings by wearing multiple layers at training to best prepare for the sudden change in climate.
"I've got three layers on at the moment and still have to put two more on," Raiders prop Dunamis Lui said before training on Tuesday morning.
"I've got skins to put on and we all have to wear beanies today. We're doing as much as we can to acclimatise and try to get used to that heat.
"It's hard to do here in Canberra but we're trying to do our best."
The 12th-placed Cowboys have lost their last four matches, culminating in a 24-12 defeat to the Manly Sea Eagles at home last week.
The Raiders head into the round-12 clash on the cusp of the top four, having defied a heavy injury toll to score back-to-back wins over the Sydney Roosters and South Sydney Rabbitohs.
Lui has been named to start against North Queensland at prop after three stand out performances partnering Josh Papalii in the middle.
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The 30-year-old will match up against the returning Jordan McLean and is wary of the wounded Cowboys, saying they'll be dangerous having had consecutive home matches.
"They're very dangerous. One thing we can't do is underestimate them," Lui said.
"We have a lot of travel that day as well so we need to be ready and make sure we're preparing well. Every team in this competition can turn up and win so we have to be ready."
Recruit Corey Harawira-Naera joined the Raiders for his first training session on Tuesday following his mid-season move from the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.
He's been named on the interchange bench for the round-12 clash, covering the middle and returning star John Bateman in the second-row.
Neither Harawira-Naera or Bateman have played this year but Lui is excited to have extra depth after an injury-plagued season.
"It makes it exciting. Our team has done really well to weather the storm over the past three to four games," Lui said.
"Having them come in is going to be a huge lift for us and hopefully we can get a few more in the next few weeks.
"The aggressiveness [Harawira-Naera] plays with on the field will be good to have and his experience as well, he's a Kiwi international and a Maori All-Star."
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