Form to decide pivotal position
GOLD Coast NRL coach John Cartwright declared the Titans five-eighth position will be decided by trial form.
The retirement of dual-international Mat Rogers has left a huge void for Cartwright to fill in the halves.
South Sydney recruit Luke Capewell and local junior Jordan Rankin, who debuted for the club as a 16-year-old in 2008, are leading candidates.
The pair will line up in the halves for the Titans in their opening trial against Brisbane on February 12.
Greg Bird and Preston Campbell will also come into consideration but Cartwright would be reluctant to move them out of their current positions.
Bird excelled at lock when switched there midway through last year, while Campbell has played at fullback for the Titans since their NRL inception in 2007.
Cartwright confirmed he was yet to be convinced about who should wear the No.6 jersey and Capewell and Rankin will get the chance to prove their worth against the Broncos.
“Jordan hasn't experienced first grade since that first year (2008) and Luke played there (five-eighth) a little bit at the Bunnies last year,” he said.
“The five-eighth spot is far from cut and dried so that is really going to be dictated by trial form. If someone can really jump out of the box, they'll get a gig.”
Capewell struggled to get regular matches at Souths but his preferred position is five-eighth.
Rankin is the third youngest player to debut in first grade and that early backing indicates the potential Cartwright sees in him.
Cartwright named a youthful side to take on the Broncos at Wynnum's Kougari Oval, with another new recruit Joe Vickery to also make his debut on the wing.
“It's mostly some of the under-20s from last year, some of the newer guys at the club and some of the guys who got a taste of first grade last year so there's a good blend there,” said Cartwright.
“We've got five players involved in the All Stars game and another five or six coming off major injuries, so pretty well the majority of those that are available are playing.
“For the guys that are playing, there are some positions up for grabs, especially in the haves, the back row and the centres.”
Brisbane will name their team today with Ivan Henjak also intending to name a largely unheralded unit.
The Broncos are expected to name the likes of Josh McGuire, Dale Copley, Denan Kemp, Ben Hunt and Gerard Beale, a leading candidate for Israel Folau's centre position.