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2017 Auckland 9s.
Day 1 @ EDEN PARK

Jack Bird kicked off the 2017 NRL season and waiting underneath it was an admittedly nervous Kane Elgey.

The Titans half had not played a senior game of any kind since Round 26, 2015 but within a couple of minutes of the contest displayed the type of talent that made him a breakout star two years ago.

He had the honour of scoring the first try of the tournament and created space later with a deft pass for Chris McQueen but said simply getting through in one piece was the greatest confidence boost of all.

"Yeah I actually was [nervous], I'm not going to lie to you but it was good and the nerves were gone after the first couple of minutes," Elgey said.

"I sort of told myself before I went out there that I just had to do something. A tackle, a run and I was lucky enough to get a try.

"For me, it's a good chance to build combinations with the players and work on my own game.

"It's cool playing with Jarryd [Hayne]. It was my first game with him so hopefully there's more to come."

And was their downward pressure on the try that kick-started the Titans' tournament?

"Just. I missed it the first time," he admitted.

As well as marking a personal milestone Elgey's return to the team bodes well for the season ahead according to Chris McQueen.

"It's great to see Kane running around again and see him out there with a smile on his face, that's a good thing for the Titans," said McQueen.

"He's got some nice deception, he's quick with his feet and his show and go is good so he will bring a lot to the team."

With a quarter-final berth wrapped up coach Neil Henry has the option to rest his superstar fullback Jarryd Hayne against the Panthers and save him for the knockout stages.

The only injury concern from day one was an ankle sprain to youngster AJ Brimson but it is not thought to be serious.

This article first appeared on NRL.com