Parramatta star Semi Radradra will try to fend off a challenge for his Kangaroos jumper from Brisbane counterpart Corey Oates when he returns from injury against the Broncos on Friday.
Radradra hasn’t played since injuring his knee in the Eels’ NRL win over the Sydney Roosters on July 8, but he trained with the team on Tuesday and is likely to take the field at Suncorp Stadium.
“If he’s out there, it’d be massive for us,” teammate Kenny Edwards said on Tuesday.
“Obviously he’s one of the best wingers in the world, so he’ll be an awesome inclusion. But if not, we’ve got blokes (like) Vai Toutai, that’ll step in there and do a job for us.”
“He (Radradra) trained yesterday and a bit today with us. So hopefully his knee pulls up alright and he’ll be right to go Friday.”
Radradra, who is currently on bail after pleading not guilty to three domestic violence charges on July 4, has scored just 10 tries in 16 games in Eels colours this year.
He also made a controversial debut for Australia in May’s mid-year Test in Newcastle, when he got sin-binned for a professional foul.
The native Fijian faces a battle to keep his Kangaroos spot from Brisbane’s Oates, who leads the Broncos with 12 tries in 16 games this year.
Oates also crossed for his maiden State of Origin try in his rookie series for Queensland this year.
In-form Penrith winger Josh Mansour, another to make his NSW Origin debut this year, is another who could steal Radradra’s spot on the plane to the Four Nations tournament in England in November.
“He really wants to make that side,” Edwards said.
“He’s doing all he can to get back on the field and put his best foot forward to make the squad to go over to England for Australia.
“Hopefully he can get back onto the field and show his wares.”
Radradra’s court case resumes at Parramatta Local Court on August 16, however he does not need to attend if he is legally represented.