McQueen's versatility is valuable
Titans coach Neil Henry has revealed that high-profile recruit Chris McQueen could be the solution to his lack of depth in the centres after the former Rabbitoh starred in his club debut at the Downer NRL Auckland Nines on the weekend.
McQueen and Agnatius Paasi were the two players from the Titans team that made it all the way to the semi-finals to be chosen in the team of the tournament, McQueen enjoying the more open spaces on offer in Auckland.
McQueen scored three tries during the tournament for his new club including a 55-metre run to the line where he split the Manly defence with an impressive turn of speed.
The last time the Origin back-rower started an NRL game in the centres was in the 2012 Preliminary Final loss to the Bulldogs but with options limited to Nene Macdonald and Josh Hoffman, Henry is open to using the 28-year-old wide out.
"He was very solid," Henry said of his star recruit's first outing.
"He's got a good turn of speed and got a long range try and I suppose his versatility given our lack of depth in the centres, he's a guy that you could throw out there and he could play in the centres as well."
Having only joined the club in December McQueen was pleased with his first outing in new colours but praised the way the younger members of the squad adapted to their first experience of playing in NRL company.
"Obviously that first game was a little bit rough but to have a pretty successful weekend and make the semis is certainly pleasing and I think a lot of the young guys will take quite a bit of confidence out of that," McQueen said.
"I was real happy with the way I played those last few games but also seeing the way the young guys bounced back after that first loss.
"It could have been easy to go into our shell, lose three games and come home with nothing but to bounce back and play good footy and see the way the young guys played, we can definitely take a lot of confidence out of the weekend."
Unsure whether he will be in Whangarei taking on the Warriors or in Alice Springs against the Eels this weekend, McQueen said he already has one eye on the trial on February 20 where he will face off against South Sydney players whom he was training alongside just two months ago.
"Every time I think about it I get a big smile on my face so I can't wait," said McQueen.
"They're some of my best friends and I've played so much footy with those guys for a long time so to be running out there against them is certainly going to be a lot of fun.
"It goes without saying that once you get out onto the field there's no friends out there, it's all business.
"It will be weird running out there during the warm-up and seeing the boys out there warming up and being on the other side of the fence, that's going to be a little bit different but once you get on the field it's all footy."
This story first appeared on nrl.com.au.