iSelect Titans State of Origin representative David Taylor will wear the No. 4 jersey for the first time against the Parramatta Eels at Cbus Super Stadium on Saturday (5.30pm) although circumstance had seen him play in the centres several times this season. Taylor was outstanding against the Knights on the left side last Sunday.

Co-captain Greg Bird and back-rower Cody Nelson return from suspensions to bolster the forwards depth, although the Titans have lost prop Luke Bailey with slight hamstring and hand injuries. Bird will start at lock and Nelson has been chosen on a five-man bench.

Coach John Cartwright explained the move, which Taylor is more than happy to be part of: “We had to try something different as we have struggled to score points and put sides away and the one thing playing Dave in the centres does is gets us going forward early in the tackle count,” he said.

“That does a lot of things for your team and means your big forwards don’t have to go back as far and don’t have to do as much work. He made over 200 metres over the weekend and that makes it easier for someone else.”

He would not concede that would be a permanent move but that Taylor has the skill, speed and handling ability to handle the switch.

The team v Parramatta Eels, round 20:

1 – Kevin Gordon

2 – Anthony Don

3 – James Roberts

4 – Dave Taylor

5 – Kalifa Faifai Loa

6 – Brad Takairangi

7 – Daniel Mortimer

8 – Luke Douglas

9 – Beau Falloon

10 – Nate Myles (capt)

11 – Mark Minichiello

12 – Paul Carter

13 – Greg Bird (capt)

 

INTERCHANGE

14 – Matthew White

15 – Mark Ioane

16 – Tom Kingston

17 – Maurice Blair

18 – Cody Nelson

 

 

The Holden Cup side to play the Eels is:

1 – Jahrome Hughes (capt)

2 – Brian Kelly

3 - Jaiden Hawkes

4 – Connor Broadhurst

5 – Zac Spring

6 – Christian Hazard

7 – Kane Elgey (capt)

8 – Francis Fifita

9 - Deacon Fletcher

10 – Mitch Sharp

11 – Harrison Hughes

12 – Anthony Colman

13 – Jackson Clarke

 

INTERCHANGE

14 – James Iodice

15 – Caleb Morehu

16 – Shaun Hudson

17 – Karl Lawton