Titans: Five selection gambles that might just work
THE NRL season is inching closer and with it comes intrigue about how each team will take the field in Round 1.
With the Gold Coast vastly improving their roster depth, questions are aplenty about how Garth Brennan may construct his 17.
We're sure to see some left-field selections by the 16 NRL coaches at some point throughout the season so to get in the spirit, the Bulletin looks at five gambles the Titans could take that might just work.
TYRONE PEACHEY TO FULLBACK
Brennan last week declared AJ Brimson will play five-eighth, so perhaps it's worth considering who could put some pressure on Michael Gordon if the goal-kicking veteran is struggling to make a dent from the back.
Peachey is arguably the game's most versatile player and lined up in the No.1 jersey for Penrith on four occasions in 2018, including scoring a double in a win over Canberra.
Peachey has a dangerous running game and good ball skills, which could make him an interesting proposition for the custodian role - not to mention the fact Dale Copley and Brian Kelly could capably cover the centre spots.
BRYCE CARTWRIGHT TO RIGHT SECOND-ROW
Cartwright undoubtedly has played his best footy on the right edge of the field and second-row is best suited to him, allowing him to chime in without the playmaking pressures of a halves gig.
The problem is that specific position at the Gold Coast has been occupied by Kiwi international Kevin Proctor in recent years.
It could be a worthwhile experiment to shift Proctor to another role, just to see if it could unlock Cartwright's massive potential.
MITCH REIN TO STARTING HOOKER
Many Titans fans believed Rein outpointed Nathan Peats in his first season at Parkwood.
Rein is a dynamic runner out of dummy-half and a busy defender but has generally been preferred as a supersub, with former NSW Origin player Peats given the starting duties.
If Rein continues to shine, however, it might be worth giving him increased game time to get the team rolling through the middle of the field.
RYAN JAMES TO SECOND-ROW
OK, this is not a total gamble given that James played his fair share of second-row last year.
James has tended to look more comfortable in the middle of the park but he does possess a running game that could test opposition edges - and such a move would allow Brennan to squeeze him, Jarrod Wallace, Shannon Boyd and Jai Arrow all into the starting team.
MOEAKI FOTUAIKA TO STARTING PROP
Fotuaika enjoyed a brilliant rookie season last year, making 16 appearances, mostly off the bench.
The 19-year-old matched it with the game's biggest and best props and never took a backward step.
If he continues on that path, perhaps we could see him sneak into the starting side to allow Shannon Boyd to explode in an impact role off the bench?