Titans boss confident star men will be right for opener
RUGBY LEAGUE: Titans coach Neil Henry has guaranteed English recruit Dan Sarginson a round-one NRL debut and confirmed Jarryd Hayne will be fit for the start of the season.
Henry will not get the chance to field his strongest 17 in a trial match before the Titans kick off their campaign against the Roosters at Cbus Super Stadium on March 4.
Konrad Hurrell, Kevin Proctor, Sarginson and Hayne are expected to miss this Sunday's final trial game against the Warriors in New Zealand because of knee injuries.
Sarginson, 23, has had a limited pre-season after joining the club from Super League champion Wigan.
But Henry has seen enough of the England international to pencil him in at centre for the Gold Coast's season opener.
"What we saw before his knee was playing up was pretty impressive," Henry said. "If he's right to go, he'll be picked.
"He was left centre for Wigan and played fullback a fair bit of last year with (Sam) Tomkins being out.
"He is coming to a stronger competition, which is the challenge for him.
"He's been training really well, even on modified stuff, and I can't fault his attitude."
Hayne's pre-season has also been far from ideal.
The Gold Coast's marquee recruit was instructed to lose weight and suffered a minor knee injury on the opening day of the Auckland Nines, ruling him out of last weekend's World All Stars and the upcoming Warriors trial.
"It's not too bad at all," Henry said of Hayne's knee.
Storm recruit Proctor only had a few training sessions with his new club before being sidelined with a medial ligament injury.
Proctor, a Kiwi Test regular, played 179 games for Melbourne.
Henry said he was not concerned by the lack of training his recruits had.
"I expect all those players to be available in round one," he said. "The time frame for all of them is to be able to get a full week of training in after next week. They are all aiming to be in full training in the week leading up to the Roosters.
"I think (Proctor's) experience overrides that. He has played a lot of consistent footy on that right edge.
"In the ballwork he did, he was very good defensively and carrying the ball.
"With a couple of training runs leading into that game he will be right."
Hurrell returned to running last week after being sidelined for nearly two months following knee surgery.