Williams return great for Raiders: Hodgson

Sam Williams has proven somewhat of a lucky charm for Canberra this season, so it’s no surprise the Raiders are pumped he’s back for Saturday’s NRL clash with Brisbane.

The halfback has been given the green light to play at GIO Stadium, barely a fortnight after he was hospitalised with a collapsed lung and rib damage suffered against Gold Coast.

The club has lost their past two matches without him – to St George Illawarra and Canterbury last start – after having won four of their previous five games with him at No.7.

“He’s an experienced bloke, even though he’s still only young,” hooker Josh Hodgson said on Wednesday.

“He knows where we need to be on the field, he marshals us around and gets us to the right points.

“It’ll be a big boost for us.”

Fullback Jack Wighton also returns from injury (back), while veteran prop David Shillington will move off the bench and into the starting line-up in the hope that he will help turn around his side’s poor starts.

The Raiders were down 26-0 after just 20 minutes against the Bulldogs last Sunday. They managed to fight their way back to level it at 34-34, only to lose by a field goal and try in the final minute.

“We’ve got the belief that we can come back in a game, which is great to have in a side,” said Hodgson.

“But at the same time, we want to be starting games a lot better and try to finish them out.

“We’re still building, we’re still growing.

“We’ll get better as the weeks get on and we’re all better for the loss.”

The Broncos have named all six of their State of Origin players to back up from game one on Wednesday, although Hodgson is expecting a tough contest whether they play or not.

“Obviously it would be more important for the Broncos to have their big names stars there, but we’re not going to worry too much about that,” he said.

“We’ll just worry about ourselves and make sure we fix some things up defensively from the weekend.”

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