Raiders excitement machine Xavier Savage will miss the rest of the season with a shoulder injury while star man Jack Wighton is out of Thursday's clash against Parramatta as the club continues to count the cost of Saturday's bruising win over Cronulla.
The 19-year-old Savage will leave the Raiders' bubble on the Gold Coast to have surgery on his left AC joint, which he damaged in the second half on Saturday night.
Savage played on despite the injury, and scored the match-winning try late on to cap a dream start to his NRL career which has now produced two wins from two starts.
It's another major injury blow at fullback for the Green Machine who have already lost regular custodian Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad (neck) for the season, and his replacement Bailey Simonsson (toe) indefinitely.
Jordan Rapana will deputise at fullback for the rest of the season, while young gun Harley Smith-Shields has been named to play his first NRL match of the season on the wing.
Matt Frawley returns at five-eighth this week to cover for Wighton, who suffered a rib injury last weekend. Wighton also played through the pain during the second half against Cronulla before leaving the field with 20 minutes remaining on the clock.
"Jacko's going to be a huge miss for us, he's such a big part of our team," Rapana said.
"We're just fortunate that we've got the back up in players such as Matty [Frawley]. He's a first grade footballer.
"Unfortunately because of the team we have he hasn't been able to play much footy but he's always there and he's always ready to go and he's very professional. I'm looking forward to him coming into the side and he will bring a kicking game.
"We saw in the Manly game, repeat sets on repeat sets on repeat sets builds pressure, tires out their forwards and puts them under the pump."
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Savage and Wighton join co-captain Elliott Whitehead in the casualty ward, with the Englishman set to miss a third-straight match as he recovers from a shoulder injury.
Prop Dunamis Lui is also at least another week off recovering from a calf injury.
Queensland enforcer Josh Papalii is expected to start on Thursday night after coming from the bench against Cronulla. Matt Timoko has been drafted onto the interchange bench in place of Ryan James, who drops out of the 17.
The Raiders are chasing a third-straight win for just the third time this season, after two road triumphs in a row appear to have re-ignited their season.
Stuart's introduction of Savage in recent weeks has been a major catalyst for Canberra's form reversal, and Rapana said the teenager had instantly earned his teammates' respect through his toughness.
"He's not a big body at all, when you play with players you just want to play with someone that has a go, someone that's going to put their head down and have a crack," Rapana said.
"Teams target him because of how light he is, they tend to pick him up and try and drag him and rag doll him around. All the back five have rallied and taken him under his wing to get a shove and try and help him to keep his confidence up by not getting rag dolled around as much.
"I feel as though in that second game he learned from his first game to kind of get down and find his front as quick as he can. He's a quick learner, he's a humble kid. He's easy to take him under the wing."
And Rapana was quick to warn the rest of the competition about what to expect from Savage next season.
"He's full of youth so the injury that he has shouldn't keep him out too long, hopefully get that fixed up and he'll be right to go for the start of preseason," Rapana said.
"He leaves me in the dust, I don't even bother, he's rapid, he's good to watch. We saw some glimpses on the weekend of him getting into a little bit of space [but we] still haven't seen him open up.
"I'd like to see him go against Addo-Carr, Xavier Coates, Jason Saab, I'd like to see him go toe to toe with them, I probably would put all my money on Xavier."
Parramatta Eels v Canberra Raiders, Thursday July 22, 7.50pm, Cbus Super Stadium
1. Jordan Rapana 2. Harley Smith-Shields 3. Jarrod Croker (c) 4. Sebastian Kris 5. Semi Valemei 6. Matt Frawley 7. Sam Williams 8. Josh Papalii 9. Josh Hodgson 10. Emre Guler 11. Corey Harawira-Naera 12. Hudson Young 13. Ryan Sutton 14. Tom Starling 15. Matt Timoko 16. Sia Soliola 17. Joseph Tapine 18. Caleb Aekins 19. Ryan James 20. Siliva Havili 21. Trey Mooney