Canberra winger Jordan Rapana believes Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad has to start at fullback on Friday when the Raiders take on Cronulla in round one.
The Raiders are priced at 1/1 to finish in the top eight of the NRL in 2022 and have been boosted by the news Nicoll-Klokstad is back to full fitness.
The fullback missed most of last season with a neck injury but is now fit and ready to go ahead of the opening clash against the Sharks.
Even so, coach Ricky Stuart does have a bit of a selection dilemma. Young gun Xavier Savage made his debut for the Raiders last season and went on to feature in three games.
The 19-year-old is tipped to have a very bright future but Rapana says he is not ready to replace Nicoll-Klokstad just yet.
"I'm not gonna beat around the bush, Charnze is one of the best fullbacks in the game," Rapana told AAP. "Xave is a great up and coming young gun but I believe he's still got a fair way to go to take that spot off Charnze.
"It would be a kick in the face to Charnze to say that spot is in jeopardy, he's a world class player, it's good we've got young guns pushing but that spot is Charnze's."
There has been talk of Savage playing on the wing. The youngster admits that fullback is his favoured position but he would be willing to play anywhere for Stuart.
"It's a competitive sport and you always fight for positions," Savage added "Charnze is a top class player, he's very knowledgeable about the game and he's been doing this for a while now.
"I'm just starting out my career, at that phase now where I'm just happy wherever working for the team."