Gold Coast coach Neil Henry did not have to wait long to receive a reality check following their NRL Auckland Nines success.
Henry has had to dip deep into the Queensland Cup stocks in order to fill squads for two weekend trials with 11 sidelined due to injury or All Stars duty.
The wooden spoon favourites received a shot of confidence cruising into the Nines semi-finals in Auckland with new recruits Chris McQueen and Agnatius Paasi, earning team of the tournament honours.
But Henry had no time to celebrate as he scrambled to finalise squads for respective Saturday night trials against Nines champions Parramatta at Alice Springs and the Warriors at Whangarei.
Ex-Test prop David Shillington, Zeb Taia and Leivaha Pulu will make their Titans debut while hooker Nathan Friend makes his official return for the Titans against Parramatta.
Triallists Cameron Cullen, ex-Australian Rugby Sevens star Shannon Walker and budding halfback Ash Taylor also feature in the 23-strong Alice Springs squad.
Henry then has to find another 20 names for the New Zealand trial.
NRL forwards Matt Robinson and David Hala will provide much needed experience to the New Zealand-bound squad.
“It has obviously tested our numbers with two trials on the same weekend as the All Stars clash and a few guys unavailable with mostly minor injuries,” Henry said.
“We’ve had to call on some Q Cup players to go to New Zealand with Terry Matterson but it will give us a good guide of how these guys can handle the step up and show us what depth we have.”
The Titans’ seven-strong injury list includes Kane Elgey (knee), Kierran Moseley (ankle), Karl Lawton (back) and Josh Hoffman (knee).
Greg Bird, Ryan James, Tyrone Roberts, Nene Macdonald will feature in Saturday night’s All Stars clash at Suncorp Stadium.
Titans squad to play Eels at Alice Springs: Will Zillman, David Mead, Brian Kelly, Nathan Davis, Anthony Don, Daniel Mortimer, Ash Taylor, David Shillington, Nathan Friend, Agnatius Paasi, Zeb Taia, Chris McQueen, Lachlan Burr, Matt Srama, Luke Douglas, Eddy Pettybourne, Shane Wright, Jeff Lynch, Greg Leleisiuao, Leivaha Pulu, Cameron Cullen, Leva Li, Shannon Walker.
Titans squad to play Warriors at Whangarei (Titans NRL unless noted): Ali Grant (Tweed), Blake Anderson (Tweed), Jarrod Tua (Burleigh), Connor Broadhurst, Tyronne Roberts-Davis (NYC), Jamal Fogarty (Burleigh Heads), Sam Irwin (Tweed), Kurt Bernard (NYC), Pat Politoni (Burleigh), David Hala, Matt Robinson, Morgan Boyle (NYC), Sam Saville (Tweed), Luke Page (Burleigh), Jed Cartwright, Daniel Schwass (Burleigh), Dane Clark (Tweed), Will Bugden (Tweed), Hayden Schwass (Burleigh), Sam Meskell (Tweed).