Stuart hails return of Raiders firebrand

Matt Encarnacion
Hudson Young will play his first game for Canberra since an eye gouging suspension last September

Canberra coach Ricky Stuart insists he had no hesitation rushing firebrand Hudson Young into his team following his long suspension from the NRL.

Young is set to make his first appearance in first grade since being sensationally rubbed out for eight games for eye gouging late last year.

Having watched his teammates surge towards the grand final, Stuart has instructed Young not to burn out early in Sunday's match against Manly.

"He's a very enthusiastic, highly-energised young guy," Stuart said on Friday.

"One thing I have asked him is when he gets on, he doesn't need to do it all in the first two sets of six. It's a matter of balancing his energy, effort and contribution.

"He needs to find a little bit of match fitness."

Stuart hailed Young's approach to training this year, which has also been disrupted by the coronavirus lockdown.

It has meant the 22-year-old hasn't played since last August, however Stuart is keen on re-establishing the combination forward into his best 17.

"One, he's a good man," Stuart said.

"But his professional attitude and application towards his training have just been impeccable, which weighs into the factor of bringing him in so quickly.

"It's a credit to him because he's left nothing in the tank.

"He's really worked hard, both at his training and both making sure that he curbs his attitude and desire to play aggressively. He will be an asset to the team."

Young's availability has given Stuart a selection headache, with mainstays Dunamis Lui and Bailey Simonsson both dropped to the extended bench.

"It was a very difficult decision on how to do it, both Bailey and Dunamis haven't been moved for form," Stuart said.

"It was a matter of just trying to find the right dynamic this week.

"How many minutes I give Hudson will be a little bit unknown at this moment, whether he comes on in the middle, whether he comes on on the edge.

"It's just a matter of trying to build up his minutes over the next 3-4 weeks."