Last year it was Joe Tapine's partner who took exception to Ricky Stuart's selection policy at the Canberra Raiders, and it's taken all of one week in 2022 for another player's partner to get involved.

While Xavier Savage not being included was the most which raised the most eyebrows at the green machine for the opening round of 2022 against the Cronulla Sharks on Friday night, Ryan Sutton missing the team came as something of a shock.

The gun Englishman, who can play at either prop or lock, has been a stalwart for the Raiders over the past three years.

Arriving at the club in 2019, Sutton has played 58 games for the Raiders, including 22 last year where he averaged north of 30 tackles power game and made 115 metres per contest to boot.

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The 26-year-old has reportedly signed a mega three-year deal to move to the Canterbury Bulldogs from the start of 2023 however, and while it's impossible to confirm, Ricky Stuart's decision to drop Sutton from a side he has been a mainstay in for three years is suspiciously timed to say the least.

His partner Kate Ford wasted no time in hitting out at Stuart either, seemingly labelling the move "b***y" in an Instagram story post.

The former Wigan star played 118 Super League games between 2014 and 2018 before making the move to Australia, while he has also represented England at 9s level and is a former member of the England Knights.

Despite all that, the Raiders elected to leave him out of the side, with Josh Papalii and Joe Tapine starting at prop, and Elliott Whitehead shifted to lock from his edge position, while Adam Elliott, Emre Guler and Corey Horsburgh were selected alongside Tom Starling on the bench ahead of Sutton, who is currently pencilled in as the 18th man.

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