Josh Hodgson will not travel to Wagga Wagga with the Raiders this week as speculation around the Englishman's future in the capital continues to mount after he relinquished the club captaincy.
Canberra confirmed on Wednesday that Hodgson forfeited his co-captaincy last month, in the wake of the Raiders' loss to Parramatta during which the Englishman was replaced by Tom Starling for the last 17 minutes of the contest.
A one-on-one discussion with coach Ricky Stuart is believed to have preceded Hodgson's captaincy decision, while a minor calf injury sustained at training after the Eels loss has sidelined the 31-year-old ever since.
Hodgson, one of the club's highest earners who is contracted with the Raiders until the end of 2022, has been linked with a move to the rebuilding Brisbane Broncos this week but says he remains "fully committed to the club".
Compatriot Elliott Whitehead has been promoted to club captain in place of Hodgson, joining Jarrod Croker as a co-holder of the role.
Whitehead solely captained the Raiders against South Sydney last week with Croker nursing a shoulder injury, and will do so again against the Newcastle Knights on Saturday.
"I've been out injured for the past two games and I've been working hard on getting myself back on the training field," Hodgson said.
"I'm confident I'll be ready to play again when we play the Bulldogs next weekend. I can assure everyone that I remain fully committed to the club and I'm looking forward to getting myself back to 100 per cent fitness and helping the team get their season back on track.
"I know internally we're all working extremely hard to turn things around and the playing group and staff have been fully committed to each other and the club."
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The Hodgson saga is the latest in a series of blows the club has suffered since losing to South Sydney last week - their fourth NRL defeat in a row.
Halfback George Williams and his pregnant partner Charlotte Lewis are homesick, having not been able to return to the UK since the Englishman joined the club in late 2019.
COVID-19 has prevented the couple from traveling back home, and has also kept their families from coming to Australia.
Williams has 18 months remaining on his contract at the Raiders, but is believed to have attracted interest from the Warrington Wolves in the Super League - a club just half an hour south of his native Wigan.
But Canberra is determined to keep their star half, who missed the Rabbitohs loss after tweaking his hamstring in the warm up.
"The Raiders have been working with George Williams and his partner around some issues regarding being separated from family and friends back home in England," a club statement read on Wednesday.
"With the global pandemic making it difficult for them to remain connected to family and friends its important that the club focusses on their wellbeing and over the past several weeks they've been working with them to identify ways to remain connected.
"The Raiders will continue to offer George and his partner all the support they need, and George has confirmed he remains committed to the club."
Stuart addressed a number of on and off-field issues with the players on Tuesday, one of which was believed to be social media comments directed at the coach by Joe Tapine's wife Kirsten.
Josh Papalii's wife Sepa also used social media to express her discontent after her husband was given a week off last round.
Papalii is back in the side this weekend as the Raiders look to halt an alarming four-game losing run against an equally besieged Knights who have also dropped four on the spin.
Williams has also been named to return, while centre Sebastian Kris is expected to play after fears he had suffered a high ankle sprain against the Rabbitohs were allayed over the weekend.
Veteran prop Ryan James has been dropped to NSW Cup.