Gold Coast forward Luke Douglas is urging his young teammates not to take the chance to play NRL final lightly and seize the Titans’ NRL top-eight spot.
The eighth-placed Titans can lock in their first finals place since 2010 with a win over seventh-placed Penrith on Saturday.
In an 11-year first-grade career, Douglas has played just two finals clashes, which were with former club Cronulla in 2008.
The 30-year-old says he’ll make sure those in the team yet to experience a finals campaign realise the opportunity might not come around again for a long time.
“It’s a really big opportunity and I know I’ll be stressing that to all the young guys that haven’t been in this situation before,” he said.
“I’m hanging out for it and hopefully we can get there.”
Superstar recruit Jarryd Hayne was at the Titans’ recovery on Monday, and showed few signs of the concussion that forced him from the field in the round-23 win over Newcastle.
Hayne played in the halves alongside Tyrone Roberts, who made his return from a knee injury in place of the rested Ash Taylor.
With Taylor almost certain to start against the Panthers, and coach Neil Henry saying Roberts and the 21-year-old are his preferred halves pairing, Hayne is poised to move to fullback.
The dual Dally M medallist’s likely shift means current No.1 David Mead will either have to be dropped or move to the wing in place of Anthony Don.
Douglas said Henry had given no indication of what his selection will be.
“He keeps his cards close to his chest, Neil,” Douglas said.
“He’ll come up with a plan. It’s a good thing to have when you’ve got all guys fighting for positions. Jarryd’s going to be there in the 17 or 13 and it’s only going to benefit us.”