Hodgson injured, Stuart shakes up Raiders

Joe Tapine has been dropped by the Raiders for the NRL round-seven clash with North Queensland.
Joe Tapine has been dropped by the Raiders for the NRL round-seven clash with North Queensland.

Canberra have been dealt a cruel blow with co-captain Josh Hodgson ruled out for up to three weeks, while New Zealand forward Joe Tapine has been dropped from the NRL side.

Hooker Hodgson was running backwards in a training drill on Tuesday when he suffered a calf injury that will sideline him until round nine or 10.

Tom Starling has been named to start in Hodgson's place against North Queensland on Saturday, while coach Ricky Stuart has also made a heap of other changes to the side that lost to Parramatta last weekend.

Tapine, named on the extended bench, is the highest-profile casualty of Stuart's cull.

Following the 35-10 loss - the second heavy defeat in a row for the Raiders - Stuart said there were individuals who thought they were NRL players because they wore the jersey.

He has now made a statement with his team selections.

While he would not go into the specifics of what he said to the representative second-rower, Stuart said he wanted to inspire form in certain players.

"That's personal, like all players that I speak to about form or what I need out of them," Stuart said on Tuesday afternoon.

"Joe Tapine has the ability to be one of the best middles in the game and he won't be sitting where he is very long."

Ryan James has been moved into the starting side after being rested last week, while Emre Guler also lines up in the front row.

Queensland prop Josh Papalii has been dropped back to the interchange bench, while Iosia Solioa has been demoted to the extended squad with Tapine.

Corey Horsburgh and Corey Harawira-Naera are named on the bench for their first games of the season.

"Firstly, we're not the only team, and we won't be the last, to lose two games in a row," Stuart said.

"I've made a couple of changes to try and pick up a bit of form that we haven't got at the moment.

"We're not playing the type of football that we're accustomed to."

In positive news for the club, fullback Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad will not require surgery on a neck injury that threatened to end his season.

It is hoped the 25-year-old will miss just eight weeks, but he will go for scans again next month to establish a better understanding of the time-frame for recovery.

Australian Associated Press