Hodgson has become one of the best hookers in the world, joined Jarrod Croker as a Raiders co-captain, and shared the 2016 Mal Meninga Medal with Josh Papalii.
Whitehead and Bateman form a world-class second-row, with Bateman winning the NRL second-rower of the year in his first Raiders season.
Their success in finding elite players has led other NRL clubs to look north, increasing the competition for English talent. Canterbury are eyeing St Helens and England props Luke Thompson and Alex Walmsley. South Sydney, the Roosters and Manly are also interested in Thompson.
It has led to the Raiders lowering their eyes to develop the next batch of Pommie stars.
Furner said the Raiders also talked to Wigan, from whom they signed Bateman, Sutton and Williams. But they opted to go with the Giants, where Raiders old boy Simon Woolford is the coach.
‘‘It’s getting a look at them at a younger age. There’s a lot of untapped talent up there,’’ Furner said. ‘‘It will help them too. They’ll go back having some different types of training and playing in a really tough competition, so both clubs will benefit from it. Maybe looking at the Elliott Whiteheads and Josh Hodgsons when they’re 18 and 19 rather than 24-25.’’
Woolford has a couple of rookies in mind and will sound them out about a move.
They’ll be part of Canberra’s Jersey Flegg program, training and playing, before returning to Huddersfield to continue their career.