Former Penrith star Bryce Cartwright will run out in Titans colours for the first time on Saturday.Ben Hunt and James Graham have been named to make their St George Illawarra debuts in the Dragons’ trial against English Super League outfit Hull FC.
On Saturday at ANZ Stadium, Test and Queensland playmaker Hunt will begin a five-year $6 million Dragons NRL deal after leaving Brisbane.
English international Graham signed until the end of 2020 after the former Bulldogs skipper’s seven seasons at Belmore including two grand finals.
The Dragons’ other off-season buys, Jeremy Latimore (Cronulla), Darren Nicholls (Penrith) and Mitch Allgood (Wakefield Trinity), also feature in the 24-strong squad.
“It will be good to get them into a playing environment to see where their physical conditioning is after a tough pre-season and how their tactical understanding is,” Dragons coach Paul McGregor said.
The clash is part of a double header also featuring South Sydney against English heavyweights Wigan.
At Gold Coast, former Penrith star Bryce Cartwright will run out in Titans colours for the first time in Saturday night’s trial against Brisbane in Toowoomba.
Cartwright will start at lock barely a week after arriving at the club.
The 23-year-old only began life as a Titan last Friday with his first training session after a sudden departure just two years into a five-season Panthers deal.
Cartwright will be joined in the 23-strong squad by fellow recruits Brendan Elliot, Kiah Cooper, Brenko Lee, Leilani Latu, Jai Whitbread and Tony Matautia.
Young gun Alexander Brimson will partner five-eighth Kane Elgey in the halves against the Broncos.
While all eyes will be on Cartwright, Titans coach Garth Brennan has turned the heat up on Elgey ahead of the trial.
“Kane Elgey gets a chance to play in the halves and really steer us around on the weekend,” Brennan said.
“I’ve put some pressure on him a bit to take control of that football team.
“He’s had a great pre-season.
“He belongs there. He just needs to get out there and own that football team.”
Brennan is expected to name a full-strength Titans side for their final trial on February 24 against the Warriors on the Sunshine Coast.