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“I won’t be picking Jarrod next week”: Ricky Stuart

28 May 23, 9:30AM 0 Comments

Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk

Photo by Getty Images

Ricky Stuart has had the Canberra Raiders firing on all cylinders in recent weeks but fans may not be too happy with what he has had to say about a club legend ahead of his milestone game.

Raiders co-captain Jarrod Croker played in his 299th NRL game last night as his side managed to get an upset victory over top-four team the South Sydney Rabbitohs with the Bunnies missing star players through State of Origin selection.

Following Canberra’s big win Stuart was interviewed by Fox Sports and was asked if Croker would make his 300th NRL appearance next week as the Raiders take on the Wests Tigers in Campbelltown and Stuart gave quite a straightforward and honest answer.

“I won’t be picking Jarrod next week… it’s not Jarrod’s call, he’s happy to do what’s best for the team but I believe Jarrod deserves it and I believe our fans, who are so loyal to us, deserve to see him play live for his 300th,” Stuart said.

“It’s definitely not disrespectful to the Tigers… especially after their last performance, I know how well they’ve been going over the past month.

“I’m certainly not taking our foot off the pedal but I’m putting our respect for (Croker) before our game next week.”

This news will disappoint Raiders fans who are keen to see their club legend take to the field a 300th time at first but Stuart’s reasoning behind not playing Croker next week is so he can achieve this great milestone in Canberra which means we will likely see the centre lead his side out against the New Zealand Warriors I’m round 15 and Stuart had a message for those hoping to be there live.

“Canberra fans go out and buy your tickets early, we want to break a ground record,” said Stuart.

Some may argue that Stuart is admitting to picking his side based on being influenced by Croker’s 300th game and wanting it to take place in Canberra and while that may be true the Raiders are in such good form at the moment that the decision to rest Croker next week and select him the week after should not have too negative an impact on Canberra’s form.

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