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Titans turn to rookie halfback in NRL

Gold Coast are hoping rising star Kane Elgey can be the spark to deliver the club their first NRL win of 2015.

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The 21-year-old has been named to make his NRL debut at halfback in Saturday’s clash with Cronulla at Remondis Stadium after Daniel Mortimer was ruled out with injury.

Mortimer suffered a fracture to his left wrist against Newcastle last Sunday and will spend at least three weeks on the sidelines.

Henry admits Elgey’s promotion is probably ahead of what he had planned for last year’s Holden Cup player of the year but he is hopeful the local junior can deliver against fellow strugglers the Sharks.

“He’s been in pretty good form in the Queensland Cup … had a very good game in very wet conditions for a good win the other day,” Henry said.

“He’s ready for the challenge.

“He’s a left-footer, he’s got a bit of a sharp step there too. He can play at the line and play nice and square for us.

“We’re confident the guys around him will help him out … quite excited to get the nod.”

Elgey’s inclusion is the only change from the team which fell 20-18 to the Knights for their third loss from as many starts this season with Agnatius Paasi coming onto an extended bench.

Henry said he was happy to back the players who fell short against Newcastle and was expecting a tight affair against a Cronulla team which is also 0-3 and desperate for a win.

“(Luke) Lewis is back in the fold, had a bit of a run last week, the two Fafita boys have a bit of punch in the middle,” he said.

“It’s going to be a tough game.”

A boost for the Titans is the omission of Sharks’ five-eighth Ben Barba, who has accepted a two-match suspension after being charged for two separate incidents by the match review committee.

Henry said despite Barba’s indifferent start to life at Cronulla, he’s glad the playmaker won’t be in the opposition’s line-up.

“I’m not sure what they’ll do there,” he said.

“Maybe Wade Graham, he’s played there before, as has Luke Lewis.

“You’re waiting for Barba to click a bit and I suppose he’s a danger guy. Probably happy he’s not there.”

Saturday’s game will be the Titans’ 200th NRL match as well as the 150th career game for long-serving back William Zillman.

Titans team: Josh Hoffman, Anthony Don, James Roberts, William Zillman, David Mead, Aidan Sezer, Kane Elgey, Luke Douglas, Beau Falloon, Nate Myles (capt), Ryan James, Dave Taylor, Greg Bird. Interchange (one to be omitted): Eddy Pettybourne, Matt White, Ryan Simpkins, Kierran Moseley, Agnatius Paasi.

 

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