Raiders fullback Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad is set to be the bolter in the Kiwis squad to be named on Thursday night.

If selected, it will cap an incredible season for the 24-year-old, who was a key factor in the Raider's historic run to the grand final, after being wholly confined to reserve grade last year at the Warriors.

He was released by the Mt Smart club in February but has been sensational for the Raiders.

The Herald understands Nicoll-Klokstad will be part of Michael Maguire's team, to face the Kangaroos (October 25) and two tests against Great Britain in November.


Nicoll-Klokstad's versatility is part of his appeal.

He could be used at centre, with incumbent Esan Marsters out through injury.

Nicoll-Klokstad has mainly played fullback and wing during his senior league career, but would be able to adopt to any position in the outside backs.

He's a strong defender, has good pace and the ability to set up his outsides.

Nicoll-Klokstad would also be back up for Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, whose involvement is contingent on the arrival of his second child with his partner Ashley.

Nicoll-Klokstad would jump at the chance to wear the black and white V, though the pain of Sunday night's 14-8 grand final defeat remains at the forefront of his mind.

"I'm available for the Kiwis, I'm available for Cook Islands, but it's so hard to look forward right now because I am so disappointed," Nicoll-Klokstad told the Herald.

"But of course, it would mean a lot to me. Growing up in New Zealand, that's every kids dream…but it's mixed emotions, Sunday night was a heartbreaking moment."


Appearing in their first grand final since 1994, and with massive support inside the stadium and across Sydney, the Raiders came extremely close to a fairytale triumph.

After a nervy start, they recovered from an 8-0 deficit midway through the first half and dominated the second half.

But they couldn't break the 8-8 deadlock, unable to make the most of several opportunities as the Roosters defended superbly, before the Sydney team swooped with a late long range try.

"We are really disappointed obviously," said Nicoll-Klokstad. "I still feel like we could have won that game. There were just some moments that made the difference, and in big games that is what it comes down to, and we sort of missed our moments. We gave ourselves every opportunity but didn't take them."

Nicoll-Klokstad admitted the controversial refereeing blunder late in the match, where Ben Cummins made a 'six-again' call before reversing his decision, had caused confusion for the Raiders at a pivotal time.

"One referee is saying six to go and they are obviously in front of our boys so that is the call we are going off," said Nicoll-Klokstad. "I don't want to say too much, I'm just going to say it was a ball call. The boys respond to what the refs do; the ref in front was saying six to go, and the ref behind us was saying last tackle. But there were a lot more moments than just that one, and we didn't get the result.

Nicoll-Klokstad had an impressive display, and was especially prominent in the second half. He carried for a game high 237 metres, including 68 after contact (also the most on field) and made eight tackle busts.

"I'm a little bit upset with some of the stuff that happened," said Nicoll-Klokstad. "The first [Roosters] try, I sort of slipped, and he went through me. Apart from that I thought I reeled it back in and had a better second half."

In time, he will be able to reflect on a special year, and admitted he would always cherish the Canberra class of 2019.

"That's what I'll remember most, the mate ship that I have been able to build. It's a one of a kind relationship and we will never get the same bunch of boys again.
And I'm grateful for the opportunity the Raiders have given me and more than that, grateful for what rugby league has done for me."