Rookie Titans halves set to face Broncos

Brisbane discard Cameron Cullen looks poised to make his NRL debut against the Broncos for Gold Coast on Friday.

Cullen is set to feature in an inexperienced halves pairing alongside another ex-Bronco, Ashley Taylor, after the Titans confirmed Tyrone Roberts would miss the Queensland derby with bone bruising on his knee.

It’s a dramatic career turnaround for the 22-year-old, who was cut by the Broncos in 2014.

After failing to land a deal with North Queensland, Cullen decided to pursue one last avenue at an NRL career at the Titans following the death of his brother Justin last year.

If selected Cullen and Taylor – who has just four NRL appearances to his name – will line up against Brisbane match-winners Ben Hunt and Anthony Milford.

The only other option for Titans coach Neil Henry is take Greg Bird out of the back-row and into five-eighth.

Henry says Cullen’s performance against a near full-strength South Sydney in a pre-season trial had convinced him the youngster could handle a debut in such a big game.

“He’s done enough full-time training to have that not worry him,” Henry said.

“We’ll just need to look at more what our pack looks like if we were to shift Birdie anyway. I know Eddy Pettybourne’s back in there but Birdie’s role around that lock, running both sides of the field, is pretty handy for us.”

The Titans have confirmed captain Nathan Friend, who sat out last week’s win over Canberra after suffering two head knocks in the opening three matches of the year, will return against the Broncos.

Henry did say however it is unlikely Will Zillman will feature despite being all but completely recovered from a calf injury.

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