Olive to make Titans debut

Olive to make Titans debut

Even Gold Coast coach Neil Henry admits it is crazy that John Olive will be making his Titans debut just days after lobbing at the NRL club.

But Henry has not ruled out more late arrivals, raising eyebrows after speculation linking out-of-favour Warriors centre Konrad Hurrell to the club.

Former South Sydney flyer Olive has been rushed into a reshuffled Titans backline for Sunday’s season opener against Newcastle after Titans co-captain Will Zillman succumbed to a calf injury.

Days after training with the Titans for the first time, Olive was slotted onto the wing for the NRL clash after David Mead moved to fullback for Zillman.

Henry claimed there would be “more movement” after confirming Zillman would not be risked against the new look Knights.

“It is a bit crazy the way the rules allow that to happen with late movement,” he said of Olive’s injection.

“And I think there will still be a bit more movement in the market before June – but that’s what it is.”

The Warriors this week dismissed speculation that Hurrell had been “shopped” to the Titans.

However, talk again intensified after Hurrell was overlooked for the Warriors’ season opener against Wests Tigers on Saturday.

A late arrival has not stopped Olive’s rapid rise in the Titans ranks.

Henry opted for the 19-year-old Olive over Leva Li for the wing vacancy.

Olive only arrived on the tourist strip earlier this week to answer a backline SOS from the Titans.

Olive had already signed a two season deal with the Gold Coast from 2017 but earned a South Sydney release a year early to add much needed depth to the Titans backs.

The Titans lost James Roberts after a contract forgery bungle while fellow centre Nene Macdonald is nursing a knee complaint.

“It’s been a whirlwind start,” Henry said of Olive.

The injury setback was another blow for Zillman who had not played an NRL match since round 10 last year due to a back complaint which required surgery.

“He (Zillman) could play at a pinch but getting out 80 minutes would be a real risk for him,” said Henry.

Henry said new Knights halves Trent Hodkinson and Jarrod Mullen’s kicking game would test Mead at the back.

But he believed the most pressure would on his new-look pack featuring David Shillington and Chris McQueen.

“More importantly our forwards need to step up,” he said.

“We’ve got some experience in our pack but a bit of inexperience in our backline.

“It will be up to our forwards to do a job.”

Hooker Nathan Friend will skipper the Titans.

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