Can Williams hold Raiders spot?

Written By Unknown on Senin, 04 Maret 2013 | 23.40

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Talent ... Raiders playmaker Sam Williams is likely to start at halfback. Source: Renee McKay / AAP

It's Groundhog Day for Canberra halfback Sam Williams as he faces a third NRL audition in as many years.

With skipper Terry Campese expected to miss the opening month of the season as he nurses his way back from consecutive knee reconstructions, Williams is set to be handed a start for Sunday's opening round trip to Penrith.

It's another chance to impress for a regular spot in the Raiders side, just as the 21-year-old did in 2011 and again in 2012 when he played a combined 33 games while deputising for Campese.

Off-contract at the end of the year, Williams said the first four rounds would be a chance to impress both Raiders officials and rival clubs as he looks to shore-up his NRL future.

"We all know that Campo's going to be back and how good a quality of player he is,'' Williams said.

"It's important for me to play well at the start of the season and then when Campo comes back, it makes it hard for the coaches.

"At the moment I've got that opportunity and other teams may be looking.''

The Raiders are being overly cautious with Campese, with coach David Furner hoping to have him back on deck for the round five meeting with the Sydney Roosters.

After first injuring the knee during the 2010 finals series - which along with a groin injury all-but wiped out his 2011 season, Campese again broke down when his knee gave way in round seven last year.

Meanwhile fullback Josh Dugan remains in doubt to face the Panthers after being hospitalised with a virus.

"Starting to feel normal again after 3 days in hospital...'' Dugan tweeted.

He was back at Raiders headquarters on Monday but did not train, with Raiders officials hoping to have him back running in the coming days.

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