Gillett’s comeback hits another stag
BRISBANE back-rower Matt Gillett's injury-ravaged season has continued with the Queensland Origin veteran in doubt for Friday night's Broncos-Storm blockbuster at Suncorp Stadium.
Gillett was named to face the Storm but the Broncos' pre-eminent back-rower is racing the clock to get the green light from medicos after failing to train on Wednesday at Red Hill.
Gillett, who turns 31 in a fortnight, missed the entire session, reduced to light duties on a bike after suffering a lower-back injury which ruled him out of last Saturday's 34-12 derby defeat of the Titans.
It has been a frustrating season for Gillett, who missed the Origin decider three weeks ago with a groin injury.
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In Gillett's absence, veteran utility Alex Glenn trained in the back-row, with 18-year-old rookie Xavier Coates summoned to run at left centre inside winger Corey Oates.
Broncos coach Anthony Seibold traditionally doesn't use players in games if they can't train during the week but fullback Anthony Milford is hopeful Gillett can make a rapid recovery to take his place against the Storm.
"He brings a lot of experience down that right edge," Milford said.
"We're pretty hopeful that he's going to be right to play. In saying that, Gillo is pretty professional with what he does. He knows his body pretty well so we're pretty hopeful that he does play Friday night."
Should Gillett be officially scratched, Seibold faces a huge decision on Coates.
The 100kg teenager has played just two games, scoring on debut against the Sharks in round 16 before being badly exposed defending in the centres the following week in Brisbane's 18-all draw with the Warriors.
If named at left centre, Coates would mark up against Melbourne's Queensland Origin veteran Will Chambers, but Milford believes he wouldn't be overawed by a showdown with the Storm.
"He's just a footballer and he enjoys what he does," he said.
"It's pretty handy what we have in the outside backs. Everyone that's been handed the Broncos jersey, they've done really well.
"Xavier is no different and I'm sure if he does get the nod to play, he will do a good job for us."