Henry prepared to unleash new signings
Gold Coast coach Neil Henry has indicated that he is prepared to unleash new Titans Chad Redman and Nene Macdonald as early as this Saturday as the club looks to secure a third-straight win for the second time this season.
With a place in the top eight on offer for the winner of the Titans-Warriors clash at Cbus Super Stadium, Henry has had to call on additional troops in light of a mounting injury toll with Macdonald arriving from the Roosters on Tuesday night and Redman from Newcastle in time for the team's training session on Wednesday afternoon.
With regular hookers Kierran Moseley (knee), Beau Falloon (wrist) and Matt Srama (ankle) sidelined for at least another month Redman is almost certain to play against the Warriors while Macdonald could be a late inclusion for centre Brad Tighe who is in doubt with a shoulder injury.
It would be a remarkable chain of events for two players who didn't meet their new teammates until Wednesday, but Henry is confident they can both make positive contributions with only a limited preparation.
"I think Chad's probably at good odds to play straight up given our hooker position. Nene will depend on how we train [on Wednesday] afternoon," Henry said of the prospect of adding both players.
"Brad Tighe hurt his shoulder trying to score that try, the same shoulder that he had the operation on so he's not 100 per cent at the moment. Unless he's right to go Nene might find himself in the side straight up.
"Nene Macdonald has been in the pipeline for a while. He's been a bit of a target for the club and it was just a matter of working out whether the Roosters would release him this year.
"He's been on the radar for a while and has agreed to terms for a couple of years so we see him as a bright prospect for the future.
"It wasn't so much that we needed him for this weekend, it just happened at the same time. We thought it could have been last week but we had to rely on the Roosters being comfortable to release him and they came to the party there."
Captain against the Bulldogs last weekend, Ryan James was only just getting to know his newest teammates on Wednesday and doesn't believe they will have any trouble slotting in if called upon this weekend.
With Redman and Macdonald 22 and 21 years of age respectively, James said he was excited about the youth movement coming through the club as the Titans' shore up their roster for 2016 in the wake of the infamous Daly Cherry-Evans backflip.
"Obviously they've been in footy forever so it's not going to be hard," James said. "Most teams have the same moves but just different names and I think 'Tighesy' is in a bit of doubt and we've only got one hooker running around at the moment so there's a very high possibility that they could [both play].
"The squad's pretty depleted at the moment so to get some new faces in is always good and they're two young and talented players and it's good to have some youth in the team.
"Obviously the hooker role we're very low so brought in another hooker and they're both young players and it shows where the Titans are headed in the future.
"If we're recruiting some young players that's probably where we're going."
The acquisition of Redman happened within 48 hours of Moseley's knee injury suffered against the Bulldogs on Sunday with the former Australian Schoolboy signed only for the remainder of the 2015 season.
Reigning player of the year Beau Falloon is off contract at the end of the season and Henry said Redman's audition for a contract extension would provide healthy competition among the club's hookers later in the year.
"It's no secret we've had quite a few injuries around our hooker role and we saw an opportunity to get Chad and luckily the Knights obliged and released him and he's come up here for an opportunity to play a bit of first grade for the rest of this year," said Henry.
"We've got a couple of hookers that are off contract as well so what we're doing is giving him an opportunity. We had a look at some video and he's had a couple of games in first grade and I liked what I saw in him.
"He's a nuggety type of hooker that has played in a variety of roles as well, has filled in at lock and in the back row as well.
"We've talked about Kierran Moseley being thrown in the deep end with our injury crisis at hooker and he's handled it quite well but it certainly puts a bit more competition around his position."