CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 19: Josh Hodgson of the Raiders in action during the round three NRL match between the Canberra Raiders and the Wests Tigers at GIO Stadium on March 19, 2017 in Canberra, Australia. (Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)

The Canberra Raiders have come out strongly in their support of the 17th expansion club joining the NRL, but could well stand to lose out from the deal.

It's expected the NRL will confirm in the coming days that a 17th club will be added to the competition, with the Redcliffe Dolphins leading the charge.

That means from November 1, 17 clubs will be competing for the players, with the expansion franchise having a full roster of 30 to fill.

It's a circumstance the NRL hasn't faced since the Gold Coast Titans joined the competition in 2007. They were able to snag high-profile players including Preston Campbell, Scott Prince, Luke Bailey, Anthony Laffranchi, Gavin Cooper, Nathan Friend and Mark Minichiello.

The expansion franchise have already been linked to plenty of high-profile players, and with Wayne Bennett likely to be confirmed the coach, they will have extra pulling power.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 31: Wayne Bennett head coach of the Rabbitohs looks on prior to the round 12 NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Bankwest Stadium on May 31, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

The Raiders, themselves an expansion club, support the move though, confirming the financials were up to scratch today, with CEO Don Furner confirming the news to The Canberra Times.

"They just gave us the financials and why it would add up and why it expands the game. And I think everyone's in agreement," Furner said.

"We're an expansion club. We understand the benefits of expansion for the game and we just needed to see the financials, and they looked good today and we'll support it."

The Raiders reportedly stand to lose Corey Horsburgh and English duo Josh Hodgson and Ryan Sutton as the 17th club look to build their roster.

It comes as the Canberra-based outfit attempt to turn around a disappointing season which saw them miss the finals, despite most pre-season predictions suggesting they would be among the top six teams in the competition.

Horsburgh is off-contract at the end of 2022, and the impressive young Queenslander could seek a return home, while the English duo of Sutton and Hodgson would both provide experience to the setup, likely being the Redcliffe Dolphins.

COREY HORSBURGH
Lock
Raiders
2021 SEASON AVG
1.5
Offloads
0.1
Tries
26.7
Tackles Made

Hodgson has been somewhat pushed by Tom Starling for the Raiders' hooker spot, and while Sutton's form has improved, he has never seemed to completely gel in the nation's capital.

Furner told the publication though that there were clubs in worse situations than his.

"It'll be harder for clubs because they've got to sign 30 players, so without a doubt it'll be more competitive," he said.

"But there's other clubs it'll affect more than us."

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