Star player says his return this weekend will be like a second debut.
The Canberra Raiders have received a huge boot with the imminent return of playmaker terry Campese after missing much of the last two seasons.
Campese named on an extended bench for Saturday’s clash with the Warriors after narrowly missing out on selection for last weekend.
The one-time Kangaroo has played just eight games since tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in 2010, but he has convinced the Raiders medical staff he is ready to take the field once more.
“It feels like a debut again to be honest,” Campese said.
“I got a few emotions running through the body when the medical staff said I was right to go. I’m just excited once again.
“…It’s been 12 months since the operation, so it feels like forever. All the hard work is finally paying off.”
The return of Campese is another shot in the arm for the Raiders, after they staged the biggest comeback of the season so far, to beat the Sydney Roosters 24-22 at Canberra Stadium.
Canberra has named an unchanged run-on side for the clash with the Warriors, however, Anthony Milford is expected to be dropped from the extended bench.
The Warriors have been largely disappointing this year with Matt Elliott struggling to tap into the potential that is on the New Zealand roster.
However, glimpses of what the side is capable of were on display as they came close to knocking off South Sydney last weekend, as they came back to take the lead despite trailing 12-0 at half-time.
But in a boost for the side’s chances of securing just their second win this season, experienced players Ben Matulino, Jacob Lillyman, Russell Packer and Sam Rapira will play in the same side for the first time in 17 matches.
Raiders: Reece Robinson, Sandor Earl, Jarrod Croker, Jack Wighton, Edrick Lee, Josh McCrone, Sam Williams, David Shillington, Matt McIlwrick, Brett White, Josh Papalii, Joel Edwards, Shaun Fensom. Interchange: Anthony Milford, Joe Picker, Dane Tilse, Tom Learoyd-Lahrs, Terry Campese
Warriors: Kevin Locke, Bill Tupou, Ngani Laumape, Konrad Hurrell, Manu Vatuvei, Thomas Leuluai, Shaun Johnson, Sam Rapira, Nathan Friend, Russell Packer, Feleti Mateo, Simon Mannering (c), Todd Lowrie. Interchange: Ben Matulino, Elijah Taylor, Jacob Lillyman, Pita Godinet, Ben Henry