Taylor v Hannant in Gladstone?
Former Test forwards Dave Taylor and Ben Hannant could give fans another reason to arrive early for Sunday’s momentous NRL clash in Gladstone.
Previous teammates at club, state and national level, the two big boppers are a potential Intrust Super Cup match-up when the CQ Capras take on the Burleigh Bears at Marley Brown Oval.
The game is being held in Gladstone as a curtain-raiser to the Gold Coast Titans v Manly Sea Eagles NRL fixture.
Taylor has been named to suit up in jersey 12 for the Capras, while Hannant has not been officially listed by Burleigh, despite speculation he is ready to return from hamstring injury.
However, if Hannant’s debut in round two is anything to go by, we know Burleigh is reluctant to throw the star signing under the spotlight and he could well be a last-minute inclusion when team sheets are handed to match day officials.
Interestingly, Hannant was in the same team as Taylor when he made his debuts for the Broncos, Queensland and Australia.
The last time they played on opposite sides at NRL level was September 5, 2015 when Hannant’s North Queensland Cowboys defeated Taylor’s Gold Coast Titans 42-12.
Around the Intrust Super Cup, it’s the names that are missing that are creating as much consternation as those that have been announced.
Young Tonumaipe’a will be missing from the Easts Tigers line-up in their clash with the Redcliffe Dolphins, having been named for call-up to the Melbourne Storm.
Tonumaipe’a scored three tries in a rout of the Sunshine Coast Falcons last week.
Brandon Smith has also been named for another week with the Storm, while the impressive Patrick Kaufusi is on the extended bench in number 19.
Redcliffe has not named Jonus Pearson, but he could well be available after the Brisbane Broncos selected State of Origin winger Corey Oates ahead of him.
Corey Jensen was initially named for the Townsville Blackhawks to play the Tweed Heads Seagulls, but has since been called up to the NRL and replaced by Rod Griffin, with Ross Bella coming on to the bench.
Meanwhile Shaun Nona, a premiership player for both the Northern Pride and Illawarra Cutters and former QRL Representative Player of the Year, has been omitted from the Wynnum Manly team to tackle Souths Logan.
Nona, who is contracted to the Broncos, was also overlooked for selection in Wynnum’s breakthrough win against the previously undefeated Norths Devils last week.
One player who has been named to take his place again this week is Mackay Cutters fullback Lachlan Coote, with the former NRL premiership winner still working his way back from hamstring injuries.