Why George Williams' first game for Canberra Raiders may be against Wigan Warriors

George Williams is heading to Canberra
George Williams is heading to Canberra

George Williams, John Bateman and Ryan Sutton could be playing against Wigan early next year following Canberra's Grand Final defeat.

Had the Raiders won the Premiership, they would have been heading to these shores to play in the World Club Challenge against St Helens or Salford.

But their defeat at the hands of the Roosters instead clears them to travel and play against Wigan, possibly on the same weekend as the WCC.

Canberra chief Don Furner revealed the plan last week on the NRL's official site and said more discussions would take place following the weekend's results.

It throws up the prospect of Williams facing the Warriors in his first match for the Green Machine, while ex-Warriors Sutton and Bateman could also figure.

Bateman's hopes of winning a successive Grand Final were crushed as Sydney Roosters claimed a controversial 14-8 win over Canberra in front of a sell-out Grand Final crowd of 82,982 at ANZ Stadium.

Dally M player of the year James Tedesco scored the match-winning try eight minutes from the end, taking advantage of a contentious decision by referee Ben Cummins to change his call to award the Raiders six more tackles.

There was also controversy earlier in the game when retiring scrum-half Cooper Cronk was sent to the sin bin for tackling prop Josh Papalii without the ball.

However, the Roosters kept their defence intact while down to 12 men and went on to clinch a result that gives them the chance to defend the World Club Challenge title they won with victory over Wigan in February.