Opportunity is knocking for Canberra Raiders young gun Matthew Timoko.
Curtis Scott's stand down means the 21-year-old Kiwi will get his chance in the Raiders centres against the Brisbane Broncos at Canberra Stadium on Saturday.
Raiders co-captain Jarrod Croker (knee) was still a few weeks away from being ready, with the Gold Coast Titans in round 16 his likely return.
Winger Bailey Simonsson was expected to complete his concussion protocols and be fit to face the Broncos, after getting knocked out in the loss to the Sydney Roosters.
But Scott's absence opens the door for Timoko to play his third NRL game, having made his debut on the bench against Canterbury last year.
He then played in the centres in the Raiders' final-round clash against the Cronulla Sharks when Raiders coach Ricky Stuart freshened his team up for the finals.
Timoko's played seven NSW Cup games so far this year.
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He'll get his chance on the Raiders' right edge, where Simonsson has been playing - with Sebastian Kris and Jordan Rapana the centre-winger combination on the left.
"He's a young player who has got a great opportunity now," Stuart said.
"He's worked hard at his game and it will be his third appearance so it's a good opportunity for him."
The Raiders will be boosted by the return of Josh Papalii from suspension and Joe Tapine (knee) from injury to help cover the losses of Ryan James (suspension) and Corey Horsburgh (wrist).
Provided all goes well against the Queensland Maroons, the Raiders should also have NSW Blues utility Jack Wighton available to play five-eighth - three days after the Origin opener.
Winger Semi Valemei (hamstring) was also expected to be back in the selection mix, while Harley Smith-Shields (biceps) was making a faster-than-expected recovery and could be back soon.
NRL ROUND 14
Saturday: Canberra Raiders v Brisbane Broncos at Canberra Stadium, 7.35pm.