Gold Coast have lost Albert Kelly and Kevin Gordon to injury for their NRL derby against Brisbane, with Ashley Harrison and Greg Bird already sidelined.
Gold Coast’s preparations for Friday’s NRL derby against Brisbane have been thrown into chaos with two key players ruled out.
Halfback Albert Kelly and winger Kevin Gordon have joined veteran lock Ashley Harrison (concussion) on the sidelines after missing the Titans’ final training run on Thursday.
Kelly has succumbed to a hamstring strain while Gordon is out due to a combination of a knee knock and illness.
Harrison was ruled out on Wednesday evening after failing to recover from a head knock suffered in last weekend’s loss to South Sydney.
Ex-North Queensland winger Kalifa Faifai-Loa will replace Gordon to make his first start for the Titans while Beau Henry appears set for just his second game of NRL in two years in place of Kelly.
Mystery still surrounds how the Titans will replace Harrison, with Greg Bird already missing from the back-row due to suspension.
The most likely theory is Nate Myles will move to the back-row with Luke Bailey taking his front-row position and Mark Ioane coming onto the interchange bench.
The club could also shift utility Paul Carter into the No.13 jersey.
“We’re still going through that in our head,” coach John Cartwright said.
“We trained with a lot of scenarios there but we’ll finalise that tomorrow.”
Cartwright believes the complications must be embraced rather than fretted over ahead of the crucial pre-State of Origin clash with the Broncos.
“All year is about waiting for the cyclone to hit and it’s hit us this week but, no, not too concerned. It’s exciting actually,” he said.
“When you name players that are having their first game for the club or first game for the year in first grade, it gives everyone a buzz.”