Preston Campbell happy to be benched - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Preston Campbell happy to be benched

By Wayne Heming and Laine Clark 06/09/2010 08:35:23 PM Comments (0)

Injured Titans match-winner Preston Campbell has unselfishly volunteered to return off the bench in Friday night's NRL finals clash with the New Zealand Warriors at Skilled Park.

While the diminutive fullback declared himself fit to return on Monday he was uncertain how his hamstring would stand up under game pressure.

Campbell has played close to 250 games for a total of four NRL clubs but has never before suffered a hamstring injury.

Titans coach John Cartwright said he would name Campbell and other injury concerns Scott Prince (shoulder), Luke Bailey (thumb), Steve Michaels (shoulder), Brad Meyers (ribs), Mat Rogers (hip) and Ash Harrison (broken nose) in their 17 on Tuesday.

But a final decision on their availability won't be made until Thursday.

And Campbell, 33, admits to some niggling fears.

"I'm right, but I'm a little worried, I haven't done a hamstring before," he said.

"I've known blokes who have done hamstrings and they feel alright, then they do it again.

"I'm just hoping I'm not one of those blokes."

William Zillman has been impressive at fullback in Campbell's absence, prompting the veteran's noble gesture.

"Zilly has been doing a great job there and if Carty (Cartwright) wants me to come off the bench, that's what I'll do," said Campbell.

"I can see that happening, because they have been playing well the past three weeks since I haven't been there.

"If I was thrown back into fullback, I'd do my best there and Carty knows that."

Bailey is one of the biggest concerns but backed himself after organising a protective guard for his shattered thumb.

"I wouldn't risk playing if I thought I would be a liability - hopefully I get the all clear on Thursday," said Bailey, who missed last week's gutsy win over Wests Tigers.

Prince, who threw a massive scare into the Titans camp when he left the field in the first half against the Wests Tigers, said he would have an injection and strap his shoulder.

"I'll definitely be playing on Friday night," said Prince, who took the Tigers to a grand final victory in 2005.

"It's just an AC joint that will be pretty sore for a month but I can't do any more damage." Prince accepted he would be the No.1 target of the big Warriors forwards.

"That was going to happen anyway, most teams run at the smaller guys on the edges," he said.

"With the shoulder injury they're going to direct some of their bigger boys at me but that's for me to worry about."

But Rogers said no matter who took the field, the Titans would be backing themselves after emerging a year older and wiser following their spectacular 2009 finals freefall.

"I think we all believe we can do it, I definitely do," said Rogers, who will retire at season's end.

"The big difference though is we're a much better team (than last year).

"We were a team last year, but we're a lot tighter as a group now."

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