Titans English pair to make NRL history
Titans pair Dan Sarginson and Joe Greenwood will become the first English pair in NRL history to make their debuts for the same club in the same game providing they both take the field against the Roosters at Cbus Super Stadium on Saturday night.
Ever since its inception in 1998 the NRL has been blessed with quality imports from the Mother Country but never before have two arrived on the scene at the same club at the same time.
The four Burgess boys made their debuts for South Sydney in consecutive seasons from Sam's first appearance in Round 1 in 2010, Gareth Ellis began his stint with the Wests Tigers in 2009, James Graham joined the Bulldogs in 2012 and Joe Burgess played for two clubs (Roosters and Rabbitohs) in his one and only season in 2016.
In recent years the Raiders have enticed Josh Hodgson (2015), Elliott Whitehead (2016) and Jordan Turner (2017) to the nation's capital but renowned rugby league historian David Middleton says that Sarginson and Greenwood will be the first to debut together in the NRL era.
According to Middleton the last English duo to debut for the same club in the same game were Andy Gregory and Steve Hampson for Illawarra back in 1989 and prior to that Mike Stephenson and Bill Ashurst for Penrith in 1974.
That Sarginson and Greenwood are in line to even play in Round 1 is something of an achievement in itself.
The firmer training fields in Australia caused Sarginson to have an issue with a patella tendon that prevented him from playing in any trial games while Greenwood only arrived in Australia on Monday after confirmation of his accelerated arrival from St Helens came through seven days prior.
Sarginson completed the final captain's run on Friday morning and is expected to take his place at left centre while Titans coach Neil Henry is hoping to use Greenwood in a 30-minute stint off the bench.
"It's common knowledge that it's been a short preparation for a couple of guys, in particular Dan and Jarryd [Hayne]," Henry said.
"If Joe can punch out 30 minutes that'd be great and hopefully he can do that."
English fullback Richard Mathers was a member of the Titans' inaugural squad and played six games in 2007 while England international Brian Carney was one of the high-profile signings for the Titans' first season but announced his retirement from rugby league in mid-January, 2007 and never played a game for the club.