The Canberra Raiders will reportedly apply for salary cap dispensation as the wait for Corey Harawira-Naera to return to training continues.

While the club took to social media in October to confirm he would be back on the field in 2024, News Corp is now reporting he is yet to receive the green light from doctors to return to the field.

It's believed he has another meeting with doctors this month with the hope he will be able to train again after that.

But it has been almost six months since the Auckland-born forward, who has played three Tests for his nation, was last on the field, and the Raiders, according to the report, have made an application to the NRL for dispensation on the salary cap in case his absence continues.

It comes with the Raiders linked to a number of second-rowers.

While the popular opinion is that the club still need to find a way to replace Jack Wighton who left at the end of 2023, public comments out of the nation's capital suggest a back-rower is the target.

Any salary cap dispensation could see them in the mix to sign a number of off-contract forwards. Canberra has already made two plays for David Fifita, and could make another if he exercises a clause in his contract that would allow him to exit the Gold Coast at the end of 2024 if he doesn't find life under Des Hasler acceptable.

Alongside Fifita, the Raiders have been linked to others including Jordan Riki, who could be the odd man out at the Broncos where salary cap pressure continues to mount.

The scary medical incident for Harawira-Naera, which came in a game against the South Sydney Rabbitohs, saw the forward collapse to the ground and suffer what appeared to be a seizure.


  1. Over the years there have been many instances of players being unavailable to their clubs for long periods. Ryan Pappenhuizen being the most recentt high profile player. There have been plenty of others who have been sidelined for twelve months or more. (Think back to Cam Mcinnes who sat out the last year of his ST George contract with an ACL injury.)

    The clubs were not given cap dispensation, simply because injuries happen, and a decent list manager will ensure that the club has depth in all positions.

    I don’t blame Ricky for having the chutzpah to ask for dispensation – if he doesn’t ask, the NRL will never give it to him) but he can’t expect a favourable response, and he should not complain when he gets a two-letter answer.

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