It’s been nearly a year since Will Zillman last appeared in the NRL for Gold Coast but coach Neil Henry says the door is very much open for the veteran to return.
Zillman’s season ended in May last year and he hasn’t played since except for a pre-season trial against South Sydney in which he aggravated a calf injury.
Since then, the 29-year-old has almost become a forgotten man as the Titans have made a surprise start to the year, with three wins from their opening five matches.
Zillman made a low-key return last weekend in the Queensland Cup. He wasn’t named in Henry’s starting team to take on Cronulla this weekend, but was included on an extended bench.
That could change, however, with the Titans’ coach admitting the decision would be up to the 156-game club co-captain.
“He’s been out of the game but there’s certainly some faith in a guy that’s played so much footy as well in that position,” Henry said.
“If he says he’s right to go and, on the back of last weekend’s game, we’ll find a spot for him in the team.”
The key problem facing Henry is just where to fit Zillman into his line-up.
Fellow long-serving Titan David Mead has shone in recent weeks at fullback, including an impressive display in last weekend’s 24-16 derby defeat to Brisbane.
It might mean Zillman coming into the team at centre, especially after recruit John Olive twice allowed the Broncos to score in that loss.
“It’s whether he’s (Zillman) more earned the right to be there and I’ll pick the team to win the game,” Henry said.
“Players are fighting for positions irrespective (of status).”