Former Canterbury hooker Matt McIlwrick has been scratched from the Canberra Raiders' final trial due to injury and a cloud still hangs over the future of young enforcer Josh Papalii.
Coach David Furner has decided to not to play McIlwrick, a Halswell Hornets junior, and Joe Picker against Canterbury in Goulburn today to give the duo an extra two weeks' rest before their round one game against Penrith.
"I gave [McIlwrick] a test yesterday and he had injured a rib cartilage there and that's something that doesn't settle so quick," Furner said. "Joey Picker won't be starting as he still has a little back problem from last week."
The withdrawals join the injury ward of Glen Buttriss (ankle), Terry Campese (knee), Jarrod Croker (knee), Hayden Crockett (knee) and Jack Wighton (hand).
Meanwhile, the future of Papalii remains at stake with Parramatta reportedly putting in a bid of $1 million for the New Zealand-born heavy hitter.
"He's been pretty clear on his intentions that he wants to stay," Furner said. "Look, we want him to be a big part of the Raiders so, as I said, it's always a process and it's not clearcut."
Should our netball team, The Tactix, have hired a foreign coach?Related story: Noeline Taurua slams influx of foreign coaches