Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart has come out in strong public criticism over the handling of Hudson Young by NSW, blasting Michael Maguire's decision to drop the back rower ahead of State of Origin II as "disgraceful."

A former teammate of Maguire at the Raiders, Stuart did not mince words in his defense of Young, referencing perceived unfair treatment over the past two Origin series.

"...The way he's been treated in Origin over the last two series has been disgraceful," Stuart asserted.

"They're looking for loyalty and passion for the jersey, but you've got to give a little bit too."

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"He's handled it a lot better than I would, I can assure you that." Stuart continued, reflecting on Young's response to the snub.

Young has apparently shown resilience and commitment while training back in the nation's capital - qualities Stuart believes are vital for any player representing their state.

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"[That passion] is never to be questioned," Stuart affirmed ahead of the Raiders' vital clash against the struggling Tigers.

"You see his commitment and the standards, his drive each week. His competitiveness sometimes gets him a bad name for how hard he fights..." Stuart concluded.

"We're fortunate ones to have him this weekend."

The Raiders, currently aiming to solidify their place in the top eight, are keen to rectify their recent performance issues. Captain Elliott Whitehead acknowledged lapses in discipline in their previous match against North Queensland but remains optimistic about their defensive capabilities against the Tigers.

"I thought for the majority of the game our defense was pretty good," he said.

"We'll need to do that again against the Tigers."