Bryce Cartwright has been given the all-clear to play for the Gold Coast Titans but there may be an issue with his return to the team.
Bryce Cartwright has been given the all-clear to play for the Gold Coast Titans but there may be an issue with his return to the team.

Twist follows Cartwright’s clearance to play for Titans

Bryce Cartwright is set to be dropped from his starting spot at the Titans as Gold Coast coach Justin Holbrook weighs up making mass changes ahead of the NRL season resumption.

Bryce Cartwright is set to be dropped from his starting spot at the Titans as Gold Coast coach Justin Holbrook weighs up making mass changes ahead of the NRL season resumption.

Cartwright fronted for training on Friday morning after receiving an exemption from the Queensland Government to avoid having a flu vaccination.

The eleventh-hour exemption came after Cartwright received documentation from a doctor outlining why he should be exempt from having the vaccination that all other Queensland-based NRL players have received.

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Bryce Cartwright is set to be dropped from the Titans starting team. Picture: Chris Hyde/Getty Images
Bryce Cartwright is set to be dropped from the Titans starting team. Picture: Chris Hyde/Getty Images

Cartwright and teammate Brian Kelly were stood down from training last Friday, with Kelly returning on Thursday after agreeing to receive a flu-jab.

But Cartwright's week-long showdown with the government and NRL is set to come at a cost, with the forward behind the eight-ball in the lead-up to the May 28 NRL season reboot.

Despite starting in the first two games of the 2020 season, Cartwright trained with the Gold Coast's second-string team in a yellow shirt on Friday morning.

He was replaced in the starting 13 by young forward Keegan Hipgrave, who has been cleared to return after missing most of last season with concussion issues.

Cartwright was in the second stringers yellow shirts. Picture: AAP Image/Dave Hunt
Cartwright was in the second stringers yellow shirts. Picture: AAP Image/Dave Hunt

Cartwright has missed a week of crucial contact training and with a short lead-up to the season resuming, Holbrook may look to start with better prepared players.

Kelly was also on restricted training, running along the sideline while the team conducted match-simulation drills, and is also in danger of being dropped.

Holbrook said last week it was crucial the Titans made the most of their short run-in to the new-look season.

Rookie Jamal Fogarty partnered halfback Ash Taylor in the halves, with regular five-eighth Tyrone Roberts shifting to fullback.

Roberts could be the Titans' No. 1 option now that young gun AJ Brimson (fractured back) for at least another two months, allowing Phillip Sami to move back to the wing.

If Kelly is dropped, the Titans will field a new-look centre pairing of Dale Copley and Tyrone Peachey following the return of Kallum Watkins to the Super League.

Originally published as Twist follows Cartwright's clearance to play for Titans


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