CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 21: Blake Austin of the Raiders shows his dejection during the round 24 NRL match between the Canberra Raiders and the Parramatta Eels at GIO Stadium on August 21, 2016 in Canberra, Australia. (Photo by Brett Hemmings/Getty Images)

With a Top 4 finish to the regular season and a trip to the Preliminary Finals in 2016, the Canberra Raiders have shown they are the real deal.

With the majority of the team signed until the end of 2018, the Raiders will be thinking now is their time.

2016 Round 1 Team

  1. Jack Wighton
  2. Edrick Lee
  3. Jarrod Croker
  4. Joey Leilua
  5. Jordan Rapana
  6. Blake Austin
  7. Aidan Sezer
  8. Shannon Boyd
  9. Josh Hodgson
  10. Frank-Paul Nu'uausala
  11. Josh Papalii
  12. Elliot Whitehead
  13. Shaun Fensom
  14. Iosia Soliola
  15. Paul Vaughan
  16. Jeff Lima
  17. Kurt Baptiste

With a forward pack that is just downright scary, the Raiders will once again look to steamroll their opposition upfront. Mid-season signing Junior Paulo, along with Shannon Boyd and Joseph Tapine are three of the biggest humans in the game right now.

When the Raiders can release prop Paul Vaughan and club favourite Shaun Fensom can't get a game, you know they have plenty of talent and options to choose from.

A solid halves pairing of Blake Austin and Aidan Sezer, along with perhaps the best hooker in the league Josh Hodgson, gives the Raiders plenty of options in attack. The Raiders scored more points than any other team in the NRL in 2016 and they will once again look to blow teams off the park in 2017.

The emergence of Jordan Rapana and Joey Leilua has been a revelation for the Raiders backline. The two combined form one of the most lethal centre/wing combos in the league, using both speed and power to dominate their opponents.

The 2017 Canberra Raiders look eerily similar to their 2016 counterparts and that can only mean good things for the club on the rise.

2017 Possible Round 1 Team

  1. Jack Wighton
  2. Edrick Lee
  3. Jarrod Croker
  4. Joey Leilua
  5. Jordan Rapana
  6. Blake Austin
  7. Aidan Sezer
  8. Shannon Boyd
  9. Josh Hodgson
  10. Jeff Lima
  11. Josh Papalii
  12. Elliot Whitehead
  13. Iosia Soliola
  14. Joseph Tapine
  15. Luke Bateman
  16. Jordan Turner
  17. Clay Priest

PICK YOUR NRL TEAM: Not a fan of the above team? Then take over as the coach and pick your line-up!

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