Titans banking on Campbell backing up - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Titans banking on Campbell backing up

By Laine Clark 05/05/2009 01:45:08 PM Comments (0)

They might not want to know how he does it, but the Gold Coast Titans are sweating on veteran Preston Campbell to again conjure his amazing healing powers ahead of Sunday's daunting NRL trip to Newcastle.

While admitting that halfback Scott Prince was "hurting" after missing Test selection on Monday, Titans assistant coach Trevor Gillmeister was more concerned by the pain felt by Campbell.

Campbell, 31, is nursing rib damage suffered in last round's 22-14 win over South Sydney.

He was taken to hospital after his masterful display against the Rabbitohs, with fears that he suffered a suspected broken collarbone in a heavy hit by Souths centre Colin Best as he set up Mat Rogers' match-winning try.

Campbell missed Titans training on Monday but Gillmeister backed the old stager to dip into his bag of tricks and pull off another remarkable injury comeback.

"Knowing Presto he will go and see a snake charmer or something, rub a bit of oil in there and mate he will be right as rain," he laughed.

If anyone can hit back and run out against the Knights, it is Campbell.

The little master looked set to miss a month with a calf injury in April - only to run out days later in the next game to inspire an away win over North Queensland.

The Titans look set to rely heavily on Campbell with three Gold Coast players backing up from rep duty.

"The way he (Campbell) is playing, we need him. He leads the way and he is very inspirational," Gillmeister said.

Titans forwards Luke Bailey and Anthony Laffranchi have been named in the Australian Test team to tackle New Zealand in Brisbane on Friday night.

And backrower Mark Minichiello will run out for City against NSW Country on the same night in Orange.

But Prince will be running out for the Titans after Test selectors kept the faith with halfback Johnathan Thurston.

Gillmeister said Prince had seen the writing on the wall after weeks of speculation.

"I suppose there would be disappointment but I think he knew it was coming," he said.

"But what a great position for Australia and Queensland to be in (having) quality halves like that.

"It's disappointing for him but hopefully we can reap the benefits this weekend.

"You want to lose them (to rep duty) and you don't want to lose them if you know what I mean.

"You want a club with rep players, we are starting to get there."

While the Australian halfback role has been a hot topic, Gillmeister said the Test backrower spots were "probably the hardest position to pick".

"There was plenty of conjecture on different blokes like (Penrith's) Trent Waterhouse but I think Mark Minichiello has been exceptional - he has been unlucky (missing out for Australia) - but that's the strength of Australian footy I suppose," he said.

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