Bird in No.6 again - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bird in No.6 again

Wayne Heming 16/02/2011 06:47:42 PM Comments (0)

Titans coach John Cartwright has revealed his hand early, naming Indigenous All Star team mates Scott Prince and Greg Bird in the halves for Saturday's pre-season trial against South Sydney at Coffs Harbour.

While some commentators believe Bird's style of play and his intimidation factor are best suited to lock, Cartwright seems likely to follow the same path as 2010 when Prince and Bird paired up for 16 of the Titans opening 17 games.

Bird played in the back row in the last few games of the season and in the club's two finals games against the Warriors and Roosters.

Retired dual international Mat Rogers and utility Preston Campbell spent some time in the No.6 jumper last year but Bird filled the position for much of the season.

Cartwright, who signed an extended five year contract on Tuesday taking him through to 2016, will roll out most of his big guns for the trial at BCU International Stadium.

Veterans Campbell and Luke Bailey, Origin forward Ashley Harrison and speedsters William Zillman and local Coffs Harbour product Kevin Gordon have been included a 26-man squad.

It will be a big night for PNG international David Mead who'll play his first game since suffering a season-ending foot injury in Round 16 last year.

The flashy speedster has been named on the wing with an air of excitement about his comeback.

With Nathan Friend (shoulder) yet to regain full fitness following off-season surgery, Cartwright will run his eye over former Newcastle and Sydney Roosters utility Riley Brown who has first use of the No.9 jumper.

Prop Brad Myers (knee), second-rower Anthony Laffranchi (hamstring) and centre Esi Tonga, who suffered a badly busted nose in last weekend's trial loss to the Broncos, have been overlooked along with Ryan James who is suspended.

"Like I've said before, it's whatever is going to be the best for the team, said Bird.

"I think I'll be starting there but there are a lot of other guys in the squad, Jordan Rankin and Luke Capewell, who'll probably get an opportunity to show their talents there as well."

"It's a long football season and you don't really know where you are going to play or if you're going to play the whole year in the one position."

All eyes will be on Zillman who has his sights set on playing fullback in the Titans opening round blockbuster against premiers St George Illawarra at Skilled Park on March 12.

The elusive Zillman wants to play well against the Rabbitohs to put his name up for game one.

"All the other boys are going to be doing the same so hopefully I can get a spot there in the team and if it is at fullback, then that'll be great," he said.

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