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NRL 2018: Nathan Peats in good humour and approaching rude health for NRL opener

12 January 2018 12:19 PM
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A shoulder reconstruction should not hamper Nathan Peats' NRL season, with the Gold Coast hooker a chance of returning early for the Titans' final trial game.

The NSW incumbent's 2017 season was curtailed by the shoulder complaint but he has been attacking preseason training as hard as anyone, regularly leading the squad in fitness drills.

Coach Garth Brennan said he was ahead of schedule and a chance of returning against the Warriors in a Sunshine Coast trial game on February 24.

The Titans' only other trial game is against the Broncos on February 17 in Toowoomba, before they open their season proper at home against Canberra on March 11.

"Good, really good, ahead of schedule from what we can see," Brennan said of his No.9.

"Definitely round one he should be sweet to go and things going the way he's tracking he'll probably play that last trial."

Peats' shoulder concerns haven't slowed him down off the field either, with the renowned stirrer poking fun at centre Konrad Hurrell's weight on Twitter.

Brennan defended the Tongan centre's fitness, saying he had returned from a break after international duties only slightly above playing weight.

But the coach welcomed the banter, saying it would only build the team's camaraderie.

"It's great; we've got good characters within the club with good humour and it shows they're a tight bunch and that's what wins you football games," he said.

"As long as they're making fun of each other and not me that makes me happy."

Brennan also said talk of Tongan and Cronulla outside back Ricky Leutele heading north was "news to me", despite admitting he did show initial interest in the Brisbane product.

"When I first got the job back in October, I made a phone call to the head of football at Cronulla [Phil Moss], who I know very well, who was also at Penrith with me," he said.

"I asked about Ricky Leutele because I was looking for some experience and depth in the outside backs.

"But Cronulla have reassured me that they have taken some steps to ensure Ricky is comfortable and settled in Cronulla."


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