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Scott Prince like Stuart MacGill: Titans

24/04/2009 04:59:38 PM Comments (0)

Table-topping Gold Coast are confident Scott Prince will cope with any selection snubs in the coming weeks when Test and Origin sides are named.

With the Titans reeling from the loss of co-captain Luke Bailey (knee) and Mat Rogers (neck/shoulder) for Monday night's NRL clash at Penrith, Gold Coast boss Michael Searle was bracing himself for more disappointment on the representative front.

Opinions remain divided as to who will wear the Australian No.7 jumper in the upcoming Test against the World Cup-winning Kiwis and also for Queensland in the Origin series.

Prince rode a selection rollercoaster last year after Maroon selectors overlooked him for the first Origin game when Darren Lockyer was ruled out with a knee injury and Karmichael Hunt moved into the halves.

Despite his impressive club form he was omitted from the second game only to be called up late when Lockyer withdrew.

Searle on Friday described Prince as rugby league's Stuart MacGill.

MacGill played 44 Tests for Australia.

But it could have been more than 100 if the NSW leg-spinner had been born in another country or played in an era not featuring a certain Shane Warne.

"I don't think you ever feel good about it (missing rep selection)," said Searle who recently re-signed Prince to a stunning deal which will keep him in Titans colours until 2014.

"Scott's not a victim, that's something he has been portrayed as in the media.

"Often it's just circumstances.

"When you've got great players in an era .... you get a log jam, it happens in all sports.

"It happened with Warne and Stuart MacGill and you've got all these different eras where you've got players of high quality coming up against each other and sometimes block each other's pathway.

"If Queensland or Australia call upon him Princey will do the job.

"I think we're all prepared here for the fact it would be unlikely they would split the Darren Lockyer and JT (Johnathan Thurston) pairing.

"I'm certain Scott's prepared himself for that news."

The luckless Prince again has many admirers a fortnight out from when Australian selectors name the Kangaroos squad take on World Cup champions New Zealand at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium on May 8.

Newly appointed Kangaroos coach Tim Sheens is already a fan of Prince's organisation skills.

They combined for a shock NRL premiership victory with Wests Tigers in 2005 before Prince linked with the Titans.

Prince gets another chance to impress in the Panthers clash.

But he will be without his regular halves partner Rogers as well inspirational forward Bailey after the pair failed to train again on Friday.

Titans coach John Cartwright is hopeful Bailey and Rogers will be fit for next Saturday's Skilled Park showdown with South Sydney.

Prop Aaron Cannings slots in for co-captain Bailey, regular No.1 Preston Campbell is Scott Prince's new halves partner and William Zillman switches to fullback.

Utility Josh Graham fills the vacant bench spot.

Campbell may still share the fullback and pivot roles with Zillman during the match.

"You never know, we both play fullback and five-eighth so we've both showed we can handle ourselves really well there," said Campbell.

"It depends on how the game pans out obviously but if Zilly would like to go up into the front line a little bit, I definitely won't disappoint him."

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