Local junior Matt Frawley has strongly endorsed Sam Williams' selection as Raiders captain this week, and is relishing the prospect of his first game of rugby league since March.
The pair haven't played since partnering each other in the halves for Mounties in round one of the NSW Cup, a competition which didn't restart after the COVID-19 shutdown. Since then they've each had to train and live in the NRL bubble without the opportunity to play any football.
Frawley hasn't played in the NRL since his last match for Canterbury in 2018, while Williams' last match in the top league was in round 12 last year - almost 16 months ago.
While Frawley will make his long-awaited debut for the Raiders on Saturday, Williams gets the chance to captain the club he debuted for in 2011, and at which he is enjoying his third stint.
"It's awesome to see Sammy be rewarded with that," Frawley said.
"He's been here for a long time now and he's such a well respected member of the club, all the boys love him. He's really honoured to captain the club and his family will be really proud of him.
"It's going to be a big achievement for him and I'm looking forward to having him lead us out this weekend.
"We've trained all year together. We've got a fairly good combination even though we haven't played much footy together, we're on the same page in terms of how we approach the game.
"We've had a chat on how we want to play this weekend and I'm looking forward to playing with him."
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Frawley played for Belconnen United and West Belconnen as a junior, but was forced to move to the Bulldogs for his NRL opportunity.
He played for Huddersfield in the English Super League last season before signing with the Raiders for 2020.
"It's a dream come true coming back to Canberra and playing first grade for the club I supported as a kid," Frawley said.
"It's the club my family supports. Looking forward to getting the opportunity on Saturday and hopefully getting the win."
Frawley was confident a lack of game time this year wouldn't be an issue for himself and Williams.
"We'll always get a bit of a top up after training, whether it be a bit more fitness on the field or wrestle inside, just a bit more load so that we are ready if we do get a crack," Frawley said.
"It's just something we've got used to, we've had a pretty good schedule."
Canberra Raiders v Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks, Kogarah Oval, Saturday, September 26, 5.30pm
1. Adam Cook 2. Semi Valemei 3. Matt Timoko 4. Harley Smith-Shields 5. Nick Cotric 6. Matt Frawley 7. Sam Williams (C) 8. Dunamis Lui 9. Tom Starling 10. Sia Soliola 11. Hudson Young 12. Corey Harawira-Naera 13. Siliva Havili 14. Kai O'Donnell 15. Ryan Sutton 16. Darby Medlyn 17. Jarrett Subloo 18. Ata Mariota 19. Joe Tapine 20. Jack Wighton 21. Elliott Whitehead
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