Henry: We'll find a place for Zillman
Providing there are no ill effects from his first competitive game of the season last Sunday Titans co-captain William Zillman will line up against the Sharks on Sunday; coach Neil Henry just isn't sure exactly where.
Zillman was named in jersey No.19 by Henry on Tuesday but after a solid hit-out for Tweed Heads last Sunday will take his place in the backline providing the calf injury that kept him sidelined for the opening month of the season doesn't flare up again this week.
Initially cryptic in his answer as to whether Zillman would come into the 17, Henry said his 156 games of NRL experience would ensure that the 29-year-old co-captain of the club would play if fully fit.
"If he says I'm right to go and on the back of last weekend's game we'll find a spot for him somewhere in the team," Henry said.
"It's really a difficult one, there's competition on for spots there. Nene Macdonald has been reasonably strong and 'Hoffy' (Josh Hoffman) has been improved in the last couple of games and Nathan Davis might be able to play Q Cup this week.
"There's a bit of depth in the outside backs and a fight for positions which is healthy but we'll see how 'Zilly' pulls up."
Given David Mead's performances in the fullback position in the first five games of the season it would appear unlikely that Zillman would unseat him in what would be his first NRL game since May 16 last year and subsequent back surgery.
The more likely scenario would be for Zillman to return in the centres at the expense of either Nene Macdonald or John Olive, a decision that won't be made by Henry until later in the week.
Regardless of where he plays, Henry said Zillman's inclusion will not be as a result of his standing within the club but more what is best for the team.
"It's whether or not he's earned the right to be there and I'll pick the team to win a game," Henry said.
"Players are fighting for positions irrespective. He's been out of the game a long time but there's certainly some faith in a guy that has played so much footy as well in that position.
"John Olive's more a left-side centre or wing and Zilly has obviously played most of his football at fullback and I thought he was quite sharp for Tweed in a well beaten team and 'Meady' has done nothing wrong."
The Titans have yet been unable to field the same 17 in consecutive weeks this season and while Henry concedes it does have an impact on their cohesion, praised the work of the forwards for keeping them in each of the five games they have played.
"We have been a bit disjointed but I've been happy with our forward pack," said Henry, who has a 6-3 winning record against Shane Flanagan coached teams.
"The guys that have been getting out there have been getting the job done for most of the game but it's a big challenge down there against Fifita and Lewis and Gallen.
"They've won their last two games and last start at home a very strong, gritty performance against Melbourne. It's a tough place to go down to."