Tyrone Roberts looks certain to reunite with Ash Taylor in the halves in round one after being named captain of a young Gold Coast team to play North Queensland in Saturday's trial at Sunshine Coast Stadium.
Roberts, the Preston Campbell Medallist in last Friday's Harvey Norman All Stars game, is eager to return to action after spending the last 12 months in Super League.
Star recruits Tyrone Peachey and Shannon Boyd will wait until next week to make their pre-season debuts for the club.
Regular first-graders Ryan James, Nathan Peats, Kevin Proctor, Jarrod Wallace and Michael Gordon were also not named to face the Cowboys.
Roberts will partner Dylan Phythian in the halves.
Phythian, a former Newcastle utility, is among a number of players hoping to prove to coach Garth Brennan they deserve one of the two remaining spots on the 2019 roster.
Bryce Cartwright will start in the second row and Brenko Lee and Brian Kelly in the centres, with former Rabbitoh Jesse Arthars named at fullback.
Taylor and AJ Brimson participated in training on Wednesday in the pink bibs that minimise how much contact they are allowed to have following shoulder surgery. Former Storm half Ryley Jacks is still restricted by an elbow injury.
Those restrictions left Brennan with few fit options in the halves for Saturday.
In his second season with the Titans in 2017, Roberts played in the halves, at fullback, hooker and off the bench but intends to use the pre-season to establish his place at the scrum base.
"I'm training at half so that's where my head is at, at this stage," explained Roberts, who combined with Taylor in his rookie season to take the Titans to the finals in 2016.
"I can't think of round one yet. We've still got three-and-a-half weeks left of training and trials. When that comes [Brennan] will pick the best side, that's his job as coach.
"I'd rather play than train. All Stars was a great game, a great week and a great celebration of two cultures and I was happy to play.
"We had made a decision even before All Stars, that I was going to play in all the trials. Garth just said he'd manage me to get me through it.
"You learn a lot more from playing with the players alongside you than training. I wanted to play and to be captain is a bonus."
There are four players lining up alongside Roberts on Saturday who were there for his last game for the Titans in Round 26, 2017, the squad younger and deeper than when he left to play for Warrington.
There are not only spots in the team for round one but contracts up for grabs and the 27-year-old has no doubt that such depth will transfer to strong results during the season.
"There are a lot of boys who are training hard and injury free," Roberts said on Wednesday.
"There's a lot of youth and a lot of people that are hungry. They want to play and train hard."
Saturday's match will start at 5pm.