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Depth to cover Croker's NRL injury: Rapana

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 13/02/2017 Daniel Gilhooly

Canberra winger Jordan Rapana believes the NRL club's culture and depth will be key to covering the loss of captain Jarrod Croker who has been sidelined by a knee injury.

While Croker's dislocated kneecap he suffered in Friday night's All Stars clash is at the minor end of the scale for the injury, he's still unlikely to figure for the Raiders at least until their round-four clash against Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium on March 24.

While New Zealand forward Sia Soliola and English hooker Josh Hodgson are the leading candidates to wear the captain's armband, UK import Jordan Turner could slot in at centre for Croker.

It could also pave the way for coach Ricky Stuart to give youngsters Nick Cotric or Brent Naden their first-grade debuts.

"We've got a lot of depth at the club," Kiwis winger Rapana said.

"I'm sure Ricky will have no problem being able to find someone to fill in for the few games that he's missing.

"It's a big loss for us but the depth is there and I'm sure we've got someone to come in."

Croker, the Dally M captain of the year, became the Raiders' all-time leading point scorer last year as he topped the NRL points tally for the third time.

While he won't lead the Raiders on to the field in the early stages of a season where they are premiership contenders, Rapana expects Croker to remain influential around the playing group.

"No doubt he'll still be a leader from the sidelines," Rapana said.

"We've got a lot of leaders here at the club and the culture is good so I'm sure Ricky will have no problem putting someone in to take his spot.

"The wonderful thing about the culture of the club is that we have not just one player like Jarrod but a whole team of Jarrods."

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