TITANS Co-Captain Greg Bird will lead a near full-strength side into the inaugural NRL Auckland Nines tournament in New Zealand.
He’s been named in a 16-man squad along with senior players Luke Bailey, William Zillman, Ashley Harrison and David Taylor.
However, fellow co-Captain Nate Myles is a notable absentee as he makes his return following off-season groin surgery.
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A squad comprising of a bunch of Gold Coast recruits are already over the Tasman, following Sunday’s first trial match against the Warriors. The young side won 36-18 and have spent the past couple of days enjoying the sights of New Zealand ahead of the weekend’s tournament.
Brad Tighe, Paul Carter, Kalifa Faifai Loa, Maurice Blair and Siuatonga Likiliki all impressed on debut and will line-up alongside the senior players named by Coach John Cartwright yesterday, in a bid to go in with the best available team.
“Our preparation has been good, we’ve come over here with a mission to do as well as we can in (the tournament) and we’re definitely not treating it as a circus,” Cartwright said.
“We’ve picked our best side and we want to go as deep into it as we possibly can.”
“We used that trial (against the Warriors) to give a few guys a bit of a run and the Nines will be a mix of half the guys that played and half that didn’t, so they all would have had a taste of football by the end of the weekend.”