Harrison returns to take on Broncos

Ashley Harrison
Ashley Harrison Matt Roberts / Getty Images

THE local derby between the Titans and the Broncos on the Gold Coast on Friday night hotted up even more yesterday when Queensland Origin lock Ashley Harrison was named to line up against his former club.

Harrison last played against the Dragons four weeks ago, when he broke a toe, and his presence should add even more starch to a forward pack that totally demolished the Raiders last weekend.

Winger David Mead has also been selected after missing last week's clash for personal reasons, and five-eighth Aiden Seizer has been named but remains in doubt with a hand injury.

However, NSW Origin enforcer Greg Bird will miss at least another week because of a pectoral muscle injury.

Broncos coach Anthony Griffin made just the one change to the side that prevailed over the Warriors in an epic encounter last week, with rookie winger Lachlan Maranta in for the injured Dale Copley.

Origin heroes Ben Te'o and Ben Hannant have again been selected on the bench, but Te'o may well be a late inclusion in the starting 13.

Griffin is toying with the idea of running regular back-rowers Te'o, Alex Glenn and Matt Gillett in a rotation system on the left side in an endeavour to combat giant Titans centre Jamal Idris.

"He is hard to stop when he's playing well," Griffin said of Idris. "He's a massive guy with a lot of speed and agility.

"Alex and Ben did a really good job against the Warriors and we finished the game with them out there, so we might look at that again."

The Bulldogs will fight a high-tackle charge that threatens to rule giant prop Sam Kasiano out of the other Friday night blockbuster - the Bulldogs and Sea Eagles at Brookvale Oval.

Kasiano has been named in a Dogs line-up that has lost second-rower Dean Halatau to injury.

But in a blow to the premiers, strike fullback Brett Stewart remains unavailable because of a hamstring injury. However, his brother Glenn and centre Steve Matai are back.

And while they consider the immediate future of Issac Luke, the Rabbitohs have named their hooker for the important clash with the Dragons at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night.

Jamie Soward returns for the Dragons, but Sharks skipper Paul Gallen is again an absentee for the Sharks, who host the Raiders on Sunday.

Billy Slater is still not available for the Storm, although centre Dane Nielsen returns for their clash with the Eels, and Englishman Gareth Ellis returns for the Tigers against the Cowboys after being sidelined since round four.

Topics:  brisbane broncos gold coast titans nrl

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