Titans? first fray
By TANIA PHILLIPS
FOUR young Tweed Heads Seagulls will take their place in history at the weekend when they line up as part of the first ever Gold Coast Titans team.
Eighteen-year-old hooker Matt Lindsay, 21-year-old front rower Matt Austin, 23-year-old winger Nat Barnes and 24-year-old lock Matt Pow have been named in the inaugural side to play in the Orara Sevens competition at Coffs Harbour this weekend.
Pow, a former Penrith Panthers backrower, has the added honour of being the club's first captain. The side is made up of members of the Titans Elite Academy as well as Queensland Cup players from Titans' feeder clubs Seagulls, Burleigh Bears and Ipswich Jets. The four Seagulls players make up the biggest contingent from any individual club. Titans coach John Cartwright said the strong representation from Seagulls reflected the strength of league in the Tweed and Northern Rivers.
"They are very strong traditional league areas," he said.
"The Northern Rivers won the country under-18s last year ? it is a strong area. There is also a good representation from Burleigh, which is another strong club."
Cartwright predicted a strong presence for the Titans in the Tweed. n Continued page 50
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He said he and football manager Scott Sattler would be visiting junior clubs all over the Gold Coast-Tweed as they hold their sign-ons in the next few weeks.
That would include a visit to Bilambil for the long-awaited opening of that club's new ground.
He said as a young club, the Titans were focussing on the future - a fact reflected in their Sevens team.
Cartwright said he was not expecting miracles from the Titans' first official outing, with his focus more on developing the young players.
The side, which is due to play Malta, the Australian Maoris and Crescent Head in the first round of the competition on Saturday, includes a couple of 16 and 17year-olds.
"There is enormous excitement from within the Titans club about this Sevens tournament," he said.
"I think it's a realisation from all the people who have worked so hard on making the club a reality of how close we are to 2007."
The Orara Sevens are best known for the involvement of actor and mad league supporter Russell Crowe - who is expected to play in a celebrity team over the weekend.