Capewell earns spot
IN-FORM Jetstar Gold Coast Titans flyer, Luke Capewell, has been named to make his return to the NRL for Friday night's blockbuster Rivalry Round local-derby against the Brisbane Broncos at Suncorp Stadium.
Titans coach, John Cartwright, yesterday named try-scoring machine Capewell, livewire utility back, Preston Campbell, and State of Origin representative, Greg Bird, as the fresh faces in a new-look 18-man squad to tackle the Broncos.
Capewell has scored 15 tries already this season for feeder club Ipswich Jets.
He has been rewarded for his outstanding form in the Queensland Cup and for the Queensland Residents in their curtainraiser match against NSW at Suncorp Stadium last Wednesday night.
Capewell has been named at fullback while Campbell returns from a wrist injury on a five-man interchange bench.
Bird will make his return to the starting backrow after missing last Friday night's loss to the New Zealand Warriors due to general soreness out of the Origin decider.
Bird's return pushes Anthony Laffranchi up to the frontrow.
Cartwright said Capewell had warranted a call-up based on his recent purple patch of form and his ability to sniff out a try.
“He's been in good form, especially over the last couple of weeks.
"He was outstanding in the Queensland Residents game and he backed that up with another good performance for Ipswich so his form just warranted selection,” Cartwright said.
“We're lacking some try-scoring ability.
"It wasn't a bad performance in Auckland in very tough conditions, we just found it really hard to get across the line.
“It's been a bit of a problem all year and Luke has scored plenty of tries for Ipswich and as I say, it's an area we need to get better.”
Cartwright said the return of Bird and Campbell would also benefit the side against the Broncos.
“Presto's wrist is fine so he'll be handy for us off the bench and Birdy should be fresh. He hasn't played since the Origin game and had the weekend off so he's come back to training this week keen as mustard.”
The Titans have won three of 10 previous clashes against the Broncos since the local derby commenced in 2007, and were narrowly defeated 14-8 when the two teams last met earlier this year in Round 3 at Skilled Park.
Titans line-up: 1 Luke Capewell, 2 Steve Michaels, 3 Clinton Toopi, 4 Bodene Thompson, 5 David Mead, 6 William Zillman, 7 Scott Prince (c), 8 Luke Bailey, 9 Matt Srama, 10 Anthony Laffranchi, 11 Greg Bird, 12 Mark Minichiello, 13 Ashley Harrison. Bench: 14 Matthew White, 15 Michael Henderson, 16 Luke O'Dwyer, 17 Preston Campbell, 18 Brenton Lawrence.