Josh Hoffman prepares to face old teammates

GOLD Coast fullback Josh Hoffman has had Good Friday's local derby clash against his former club, Brisbane, circled in his diary since the NRL released its 2015 premiership draw some months ago.

Having been forced out of the Broncos after breaking into its 100-game club last year, Hoffman has found a home at fullback with the Titans, looking to re-establish himself in a position that has more talent than any other with the likes of Greg Inglis, Billy Slater, Brett Stewart, Matt Moylan, James Tadesco, Josh Dugan and Englishman Sam Tomkins.

With Brisbane's foundation coach Wayne Bennett returning to the club this season and bringing with him his adopted "son" Darius Boyd, Hoffman's chances of playing fullback were always slim and on Bennett's advice, he made the tough call to find another NRL club.

As it turned out, he probably would have got half a season in the Brisbane No.1 after Boyd ruptured his Achilles during pre-season training, requiring him to undergo surgery.

In the meantime, youngster Jordan Kahu has been winning over plenty of fans with his ever-improving fullback play after a nervous debut in the No.1. In the past two games, against Cronulla and the Warriors, Kahu has been one of the best on the field and is doing a good job of holding down the position until Boyd gets back, probably in June or July.

Hoffman and another Bennett discard from his previous time at the Broncos, Dave Taylor, will be two players who could make a statement against Brisbane on Friday night.

Titans coach Neil Henry has shown faith in young Kane Elgey, keeping him in the No.7 while promoting Kierran Moseley into the dummy half role for the suspended Beau Falloon.

Brisbane has taken a hit with skipper Justin Hodges (hamstring) and Kiwi international Adam Blair falling victim to a nasty cork.

Sam Thaiday comes straight back into the starting side for Blair, Corey Parker takes over the captaincy and Dale Copley returns from injury to fill in for Hodges, who is looking at two or three weeks on the sidelines.



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