If there's one Canberra Raider that knows all about fighting, it's Josh Papalii.
And he says Josh Hodgson is not one to go down without a fight, with the Canberra co-captain set to return to the fray in this Saturday's trial against the Sydney Roosters at Seiffert Oval.
Hodgson is named to make his first appearance since injuring his anterior cruciate ligament in round nine last season, with the hooker aiming to play 40 minutes of the pre-season hit out.
It will also serve as an opportunity for Corey Horsburgh, Emre Guler and Bailey Simonsson to clock some match minutes after an injury crisis hit the Raiders last year - although the latter is recovering from a minor leg injury suffered last week.
Papalii is looking forward to seeing his teammates return this weekend, especially Hodgson after he went through his second knee reconstruction in four years.
"[That's] one back. It's always good to see boys come back from major injuries, especially Hodgson," Papalii said.
"I think he's ahead of schedule and that's the type of person he is. He's not one to go down without a fight.
"I think he'll be back for round one and I can't wait too, everyone is behind Hodgson and he brings that competitive nature with him.
"He was a bit like a head coach sort of role [while injured last year], he's always saying things, doing video sessions, and running meetings for the boys as well. He loves that side of things.
"He just brings knowledge to our team as well."
MORE RAIDERS NEWS
Hodgson has slowly built back to full contact training and is on track for their round-one clash against the Wests Tigers at Canberra Stadium on March 14.
But before then, the 31-year-old hooker is eager for some early minutes against the Roosters - saying the comeback from his second knee reconstruction has been tougher mentally.
"It's been a long road but it's finally come around, it'll be a good hit out. I'm looking to get some minutes in early and do the basics well," he said.
"[This comeback] feels different, it was mentally tougher I think. The first time, you kind of don't know what to expect and take everything as it comes - but the second time you know how long it's going to be, how much work you have to do, and strengthening it right.
"Sometimes you take two steps forward and then two steps back, and feel like you're going nowhere for a while. Then other days you're flying.
"I've been doing everything from nearly the end of December, I feel better and I'm good to go."
Luke Keary, meanwhile, has been ruled out of the trial for the Roosters due to a hamstring injury.
NRL PRE-SEASON TRIALS
Saturday: Canberra Raiders v Sydney Roosters at 4pm; Canberra Raiders v North Sydney Bears at 2pm. Both games at Seiffert Oval.
Canberra Raiders NRL trial squad: Caleb Aekins, Elijah Anderson, Adam Cook, Matt Frawley, Emre Guler, Siliva Havili, Josh Hodgson, Albert Hopoate, Corey Horsburgh, Ryan James, Seb Kris, Dunamis Lui, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, Kai O'Donnell, Josh Papalii, Jordan Rapana, Harry Rushton, Curtis Scott, Harley Smith-Shields, Bailey Simonsson, Sia Soliola, Tom Starling, Ryan Sutton, Joseph Tapine, Leo Thompson, Matt Timoko, Semi Valemei, Elliott Whitehead, Jack Wighton, George Williams, Sam Williams, Hudson Young.
Canberra Raiders NSW Cup trial squad: Caleb Aekins, Elijah Anderson, Adam Cook, Matt Frawley, Emre Guler, Siliva Havili, Albert Hopoate, Corey Horsburgh, Ryan James, Seb Kris, Dunamis Lui, Keaton Meads, Darby Medlyn, Brigham Moeakiola, Kai O'Donnell, Harry Rushton, Brad Schneider, Curtis Scott, Bailey Simonsson, Harley Smith-Shields, Tom Starling, Ryan Sutton, Leo Thompson, Matt Timoko, Adrian Trevilyan, Semi Valemei, Sam Williams.