Titans coach John Cartwright has urged New South Wales selectors to investigate the State of Origin eligibility of fullback David Mead as teammates Aidan Sezer and Kevin Gordon engaged in some representative musical chairs on Monday morning.
With a 6-2 start to the season Titans players have been rewarded with selection in the Australia (Greg Bird, Nate Myles), City (Sezer, Beau Falloon) and Country (Kevin Gordon) teams although a rolled ankle will prevent Sezer from making the trip to Dubbo on Sunday.
Albert Kelly, who must have been in Country calculations given his start to 2014, was due to have x-rays on the knock he received to his left leg that forced him from the field midway through the first half against the Tigers on Sunday, Cartwright confident there was no major damage done.
Mead has been in sensational form both on the wing and at fullback for Gold Coast but his eligibility for both Country and New South Wales remains doubtful having represented Papua New Guinea at both the 2008 and 2013 World Cup tournaments.
"I've got to clear that one up with 'Meady', I'm not 100 per cent sure where his eligibility is," said Cartwright of Mead, who grew up in Lismore in northern NSW. "It's something we need to clear up because he's getting better all the time and if I was NSW I'd certainly want to have him as part of a group that I could select from."
Sezer's withdrawal is not only a blow to the City Origin side but also all but rules him out of contention for the NSW five-eighth position that remains wide open.
With injuries to incumbent James Maloney and Todd Carney on the weekend, Josh Reynolds (City) and Jarrod Mullen (Country) get to audition for the Blues No.6 jersey on Sunday, a position Cartwright believes is the most contentious a month out from Origin I.
"He'd love to play; I think the Origin spot is wide open there if somebody can go down there and take the game apart they might get a gig in an Origin game," Cartwright said of Sezer who rolled his ankle against the Tigers and has been battling a quad strain. "It's good for us that his focus is that he wants to get back on the field for the Souths game [in Round 9], so that's always a good sign."
As for the players who will represent the club over the course of Representative Round, Cartwright was delighted to see call-ups for both Gordon and Beau Falloon, who will start at hooker for City with Robbie Farah and Nathan Peats both unavailable.
"Couldn't be happier," he said of Falloon's selection, who played his junior footy for the Coogee Wombats.
"He's a champion little fella and a real hard worker.
"He's a guy who sets a lot of standards within the team, especially when they're out on the field. There's not much of him but he leads the way defensively; very courageous little player and everyone in the club is certainly very happy for him."
It was a sentiment echoed by Falloon's understudy at the Titans, Paul Carter, who said there was a buzz amongst the group after their 22-6 win over the Tigers.
"It was awesome after the game, with the win going into the bye and then on the bus we dropped the boys off at the hotel where they are staying," Carter said.
"For Beauy Falloon, he's had a big impact on me up here so awesome to see him get a start in the City side. And Aidan Sezer, he's like an older brother to me. I knew him from Sydney so it's great to see those boys in the rep honours."