Boyd cleared as Titans eye fast start
TITANS giant Shannon Boyd has been cleared of a broken hand, giving Gold Coast a full-strength side for the start of the NRL season.
Boyd underwent scans on his hand on Sunday after it was stood on in the Titans' 25-22 trial loss to the Broncos on Saturday night.
The 126kg prop made an eye-catching start to his Gold Coast career, carrying the ball with vigour to show Titans fans he is on the way to rediscovering the form which made him a Kangaroos representative.
Boyd did not return to the field after his opening 20-minute stint.
But Titans coach Garth Brennan on Sunday confirmed scans had cleared Boyd for a Round 1 showdown against former club Canberra, in which he is expected to start in the front row alongside Queensland Origin prop Jarrod Wallace.
"It was his first hitout for the year and he's still got a bit of work to do," Brennan said.
"He helps get you on the front foot. That helped us with quick play-the-balls and ruck control.
"I'd seen enough (of him after one stint) and he picked up a (hand injury) which I didn't want to risk in case there was anything more serious in it.
"I saw enough to think he will be right come round one."
The only other injury concerns for the Titans are captain Ryan James (knee) and forward Keegan Hipgrave (hamstring).
James is on track to be fit for the March 17 clash with the Raiders and Hipgrave is not in the Gold Coast's best 17.
Brennan has some selection decisions to make, particularly around the make-up of his bench.
Young gun AJ Brimson is in the mix for a bench utility berth, but was tentative in his return from major shoulder surgery as the Titans squandered an 18-nil lead.
"AJ was a bit rusty a few times in his first hitout back from a shoulder reconstruction," Brennan said.
"He was a bit tentative carrying the football but once he got into the game he showed that spark we know."
The Titans are heading into a four-day camp in northern NSW on Monday to finalise their preparations for the start of the NRL season.