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Soliola, Wighton named to face Knights

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 28/06/2016
Sia Soliola of the Raiders © Getty Images Sia Soliola of the Raiders

Canberra hardman Sia Soliola and fullback Jack Wighton will be given a few extra days to prove their fitness for Sunday's NRL clash with Newcastle following nasty chest injuries.

Soliola played with a sore shoulder and hurt rib in the Raiders' last-start win over Gold Coast, while Wighton pushed on with an injured sternum.

The pair were on Tuesday named in an unchanged side to take on the Knights at GIO Stadium, but will be monitored during the week before being given the final green light.

Hookers Josh Hodgson and Kurt Baptiste, meanwhile, have been cleared to play after suffering concussion in the same match.

"We need those players back," Queensland enforcer Josh Papalii said.

"Sia's been a leader with his actions on and off the field, and for him to play with a bung shoulder and popped rib I don't think there's too many players out there who'd do the same thing.

"Everyone's pretty important to our team but hopefully they pull up alright for Sunday."

Jack Wighton © Getty Images Jack Wighton

The Knights drew 24-24 the last time they met the Raiders at Hunter Stadium in round three, but have lost 11 of their last 12 matches.

Canberra, meanwhile, have won four of past five and sit seventh on the ladder.

"We've got a massive block of footy in the next month - there's games that we can win and this is one on Sunday," added Papalii.

"The Knights are going to come down pretty fired up and try to get the two points in Canberra, but we can't let that happen."

It will be in-form centre Joey Leilua's first game against his old club, and potentially a chance for him to secure a spot in the NSW State of Origin side for game three.

Leilua - who missed out on selection for the opening two matches - said after Sunday's win over the Titans he felt the Blues had picked the wrong team for the series, in which Queensland hold an unassailable 2-0 lead.

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