Sun. Oct 17th, 2021

news, latest news, canberra raiders, raiders, nrl, nrl expansion, nrl 17th team, don furner, corey horsburgh, josh hodgson

The Canberra Raiders could have a fight on their hands to hold on to young bull Corey Horsburgh with the NRL set to bring a 17th team into the competition in 2023. The Englishmen Josh Hodgson and Ryan Sutton could also be targets for any expansion team with the pair in able to sign with other clubs coming November 1st. The NRL put their case to the 16 current clubs on Thursday and looks set to expand the rubber-stamp expansion and the introduction of another Brisbane-based team. While Green Machine has several Queenslanders in their ranks, including Maroons star Josh Papalii and New Zealand international Jordan Rapana, Horsburgh is the biggest one-off contract – along with outside back Elijah Anderson, who is on a development contract after making his NRL debut this season . The Redcliffe Dolphins are favorites to claim the 17th license, and Horsburgh could come up as a possible target if they are looking for expats to lure home. The Horsburghs had a horrific run with injury in the last two seasons, with a foot injury that ruled him out for most of 2020 and then a wrist injury that further put him on the field this year. He has undergone a shoulder reconstruction in the post season after injuring his shoulder in the final round against the Sydney Roosters. The 23-year-old is expected to be fit for the season opener, although he will not return to contact training until January. Hodgson would be an excellent target for any expansion team that would quickly settle into the NRL. He has been one of the best hookers in the league since moving to Canberra from English Super League club Hull KR in 2015. Plus he would bring valuable leadership, having relinquished Raiders co-captaincy this year. MORE RAIDER NEWS The 31-year-old has been widely linked with leaving Green Machine, but there has been no formal approach to Raiders. Sutton emerged as one of the best props in the NRL, but has already had preliminary talks about extending his time in lime green. It is assumed that these negotiations may increase again in the coming weeks. Raiders CEO Don Furner said there would obviously be more competition to sign players after expansion. “It’s going to be harder for the clubs because they have to sign 30 players, so without a doubt it will be more competitive,” he said. “But there are other clubs that will affect more than us.” Furner supported the expansion, saying the NRL presented a strong case for adding a 17th team at their meeting Thursday. He said the financial case was stacked for the introduction of another Brisbane team. The NRL has already negotiated new Fox Sports and Sky New Zealand television deals for expanded competition, with new free-to-air and naming rights deals on the way. “They just gave us the economy and why it would add up and why it expands the game. And I think everyone agrees,” Furner said. “We are an expansion club. We understand the benefits of expansion to the game and we just had to look at the accounts and they looked good today and we will support it.” Meanwhile, Rapana, Joe Tapine, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, Corey Harawira-Naera and Bailey Simonsson have been named in New Zealand’s expanded World Cup squad for next year’s postponed event in England.

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