Gillett has been eyeing a return in Brisbane’s final trial for many months. Picture: Liam Kidston
Gillett has been eyeing a return in Brisbane’s final trial for many months. Picture: Liam Kidston

Gillett on target for long-awaited return

MATT Gillett is set to make a bull's eye of his long-term goal for a return from a neck injury in Saturday night's trial against the Titans.

Gillett said late last year that he wanted to play in Brisbane's last pre-season trial once he had first gained medical clearances on his recovery from a fractured neck and a shoulder reconstruction.

 

Brisbane coach Anthony Seibold will name his team on Tuesday to meet the Titans in his club's last trial before the March 14 premiership opener against the Storm in Melbourne.

Darius Boyd, Andrew McCullough, Kodi Nikorima and Joe Ofahengaue will also be among those Broncos stepping out for the first time in 2019 in an extended squad for the trial at Cbus Super Stadium.

Gillett, 30, has not played since April 7 last year, with a specialist telling him a few days later that he should not play again that season.

The 12-Test star said last month that playing four NRL games before his fractured neck was diagnosed had increased his confidence that it will not impede a successful return to the sport.

Gillett's return to the right edge this season, where he had been one of the best in the position in 2016 and 2017, is key to the success of a Broncos pack otherwise heavily dependent on young forwards maintaining a high standard amid the week-to-week grind.

Matt Gillett could start the season in the middle. Picture: AAP
Matt Gillett could start the season in the middle. Picture: AAP

Five-eighth Anthony Milford has been listed to not play until Round 1 after a hamstring issue interrupted a preparation already compromised by a shoulder reconstruction in late September.

Nikorima last week received as strong a support as any new coach can in February when Seibold said he planned for the Kiwi international and Milford to be his halves in Round 1.

The late weeks of Boyd's 2018 campaign was hampered by hamstring trouble, but he has impressed Red Hill insiders with the quality of his pre-season training.

McCullough's worth at dummy-half and with his defence was underlined when he missed two matches late last year with concussion.