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Titans pick Harrison at five-eighth

15/04/2008 04:25:47 PM Comments (0)

Former Queensland Origin backrower Ashley Harrison has been named to replace suspended Titans five-eighth Mat Rogers for the NRL derby against Brisbane.

Titans assistant coach Trevor Gillmeister admitted the club had been toying with the idea of moving Test halfback hopeful Scott Prince to pivot but ultimately decided to play Harrison at No.6.

Gillmeister spoke of the Titans' five-eighth options before the Gold Coast decided to contest Rogers' grading for a dangerous throw at the NRL judiciary on Wednesday night.

Rogers accepted the early guilty plea to the grade two charge on Tuesday, but will seek a downgrade in a bid to reduce his three-match ban to just one game for his tackle on Parramatta fullback Luke Burt last Friday night.

Prince is in sparkling form for the Titans and considered a chance of usurping Johnathan Thurston for the Australian No.7 jersey after guiding the Gold Coast to a 4-1 record.

But Gillmeister said the Titans considered a number of options including moving Prince to pivot and using custodian Preston Campbell as halfback - a position that earned him the 2001 Dally M Medal with Cronulla.

The Titans assistant also revealed back-up pivot Josh Lewis was also "up the sleeve", despite still playing in the Queensland Cup for Ipswich after recovering from a shoulder injury.

Lewis started last weekend's game for the Kevin Walters-coached Ipswich on the bench.

"Preston Campbell can play at half and Scotty Prince at five-eighth," Gillmeister said.

"And we've got Josh Lewis back from injury as well."

Regular No.13 Harrison was named at pivot with Daniel Conn slotted in at lock.

The Titans are sweating on the fitness of former Eels forward Aaron Cannings (shoulder).

"It's from Friday night's game at Parramatta but he's had that before and we are pretty confident he will be fine," Gillmeister said.

Cannings has been named on a five man bench.

Gillmeister said another name on the interchange - Gavin Cooper - was making it hard for the Titans to leave him out of the Broncos clash.

Backrower Cooper started on the bench alongside Lewis for Ipswich in their Queensland Cup clash against Brisbane Norths but still scored three tries in the 60-10 victory.

"He had a couple of operations in the off season so he's had limited pre-season training," Gillmeister said of Cooper.

"But he's in fine form at the moment, scored three tries for Ipswich on the weekend against Norths so he won't be far away."

Former rugby league hardman Gillmeister clearly looked forward to Friday night's forwards battle, backing the Titans against Brisbane's star-studded pack despite the absence of Luke Bailey (broken wrist).

"Both forward packs will ensure a torrid game, both are in form and will be looking to get on top of each other," he said.

"The Broncos are playing pretty good at the moment - it will be a big game."

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