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Gillett and Broncos big guns return for Titans trial

Matt Gillett will make his much-awaited return from injury at lock for the Broncos as most of the club's big guns return to play their first game of the season in the trial against the Titans on Saturday night.

Gillett will play his first game since the round five clash with Newcastle last year after being given the green light to play following shoulder surgery and making a full recovery from a neck injury.

Brisbane captain Darius Boyd, in the best physical condition he can remember being in, will line up at fullback in the clash at CBUS Stadium.

Representative wingers Corey Oates and Jamayne Isaako will play their first games of the year, as will Kiwi half Kodi Nikorima.

Anthony Milford has been kept in cotton wool as he recovers from a hamstring injury suffered at training but the Broncos 2018 player of the year is expected to play in the round one Telstra Premiership clash with the Melbourne Storm.

Former Roosters half Sean O'Sullivan will wear the number six jersey after impressing in the trial win over Wynnum-Manly.

The trial will also feature Matt Lodge and Joe Ofahengaue for the first time in 2019 with the duo named to start in the front-row.

Match Highlights: Wynnum v Broncos

Maroons hooker Andrew McCullough gets his first hit-out in Broncos colours this year with his understudy Jake Turpin named on the bench.

All eyes will be on the return of veteran Test and Queensland forward Gillett who was sorely missed by the Broncos last year.

The neck injury that Gillett suffered included a fracture in the C5 vertebrae and two hairline fractures in his neck. The healing process was long but after being fully tested in contact sessions for weeks at Brisbane training he is now ready to resume his career.

"I’m excited to have Gillo back with the experience he has and all the Aussie, Origin and big  games he has played in," Joe Ofahengaue told

"He gives us a lot of confidence because we are a young side. We missed his talk and leadership on the edge. Gillo is one of those guys where you know what you are going to get and it drives you to do better and play well for him. Everyone is excited to see him back in the jersey."

The Broncos have rested Tongan international Tevita Pangai jnr who suffered a minor hamstring injury in the Wynnum trial. Pangai is also expected to be fit to play the Storm in a fortnight.

Rising middle forwards Patrick Carrigan and Thomas Flegler have been named on the bench and will get another chance to push for a round one spot.

"They are young, strong and they have  got good footy brains on them. They can play good football and they love working hard," winger Corey Oates told

"They are tough young blokes. Hopefully they get a start this year and can show what they have got."

Broncos team: 1. Darius Boyd (c), 2, Corey Oates, 3. James Roberts, 4. Jack Bird, 5. Jamayne Isaako, 6. Sean O’Sullivan, 7. Kodi Nikorima, 8. Matt Lodge, 9. Andrew McCullough, 10. Joe Ofahengaue, 11. Alex Glenn, 12. David Fifita, 13. Matt Gillett. Interchange: 14. Kotoni Staggs, 15, Jaydn Su’A, 16. Thomas Flegler, 17. Shaun Fensom, 18. Patrick Carrigan, 19. Jake Turpin, 20. Richie Kennar, 21. Gehamat Shibasaki, 22. Tom Dearden.

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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