Exciting young centre Brian Kelly is set to have his third wing partner in five weeks when he runs out against the Gold Coast Titans on Sunday.
For the opening three rounds, Kelly had his regular winger in Jorge Taufua outside of him. The pair formed a great left side partnership in Kelly’s first season in 2017 before a knee injury ended Taufua’s season.
The partnership was rebuilding nicely again until Taufua suffered a collarbone injury in the round three loss to South Sydney. It saw Matthew Wright shift to the wing outside of Kelly in the win over Canberra Raiders last Saturday night. Taufua is listed to return in round 12.
With Tom Trbojevic suffering an ankle injury against the Raiders, Wright has moved to full-back for the Gold Coast game at Gladstone.
Trbojevic has been named in the 21-man squad to play the Titans but needs to pass a fitness test on his ankle that originally saw listed to miss up to two weeks.
The return of centre Dylan Walker from an ankle injury against the Titans sees centre Brad Parker shift to the wing to now play outside Kelly. Walker will re-unite with winger Akuila Uate – a right side partnership that proved lethal in 2017.
For Kelly, he remains unfazed. He says each of the wingers have their own little ways of doing things.
“Jorge was there for a few weeks and he has left me again,’’ Kelly said, with a grin.
“He is still around at training with Matty Wright and myself so it feels like he is with us, so it’s all good.
“Both have their different way of going about things. They are talented in their own ways - Jorge with his tough carries back, and Matty with his skilful dives in the corner.
“Matty loves a dive for a try and he looked pretty cool, calm, and collected after he scored against Canberra with that big aerial dive of his.
“The main thing is that they talk to me a lot and I use their experience. They can both be quite at one stage, and then they can be loud and up in the opposition’s faces.”
And as for Parker, Kelly was just as happy to have the strong running back outside him.
“The ‘big red' man is a great defender,’’ Kelly joked.
“He has got big, long lanky arms. Once he gets holds off someone, he doesn’t let go.
“He is looking sharp.”
Match: Titans v Sea Eagles
Round 5 -
Venue: Marley Brown Oval