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The under-16 and under-18 Junior Titans System (JTS) squads will this week make the trek south to Coffs Harbour to take on the Newcastle Knights in a trial match that has now become an annual event.

In its second year, the JTS teams will have an opportunity to put their pre-season training into action with a tough battle against the Knights squads selected from one of rugby league’s strongest junior nurseries.

The Titans’ JTS squads have been in training since November, and the match will be played at a high intensity with the NSWRL Harold Matthews and SG Ball competitions to commence within the next month.

“We’re excited about the opportunity,” Elite Player Development Manager Jamie McCormack said.

“We’re at the back-end of our three-month pre-season program, and it’ll be a good challenge against a strong outfit who are part of an NRL club system.

“The Knights are preparing for their Harold Matthews and SG Ball competitions and it’ll be the last time our guys will be together as well before they head back to their clubs.

“We’re happy to be playing the Knights. In our opinion, they are one of the stronger junior programs.”

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It will be a tough trip for the Gold Coast group, who will depart the Titans High Performance Facility at 6am on Saturday morning, play their match and then will return home on the same day. 

“Part of the process is development to help them go to that next level,” McCormack said. “It’s about getting used to everything that the NRL squad do.

“We’ll also review the players on the standard that they are at, at this time.

“We’ll sit with each of them and help them get better.

“We’ve played them (Knights) before and we know that we’ll have a good hit-out.”

The details for the matches are:

Date: Saturday, 18 January

Venue: Geoff King Motors Oval, Coffs Harbour

Opposition: Newcastle Knights

Time: 2:30pm (under-16); 4pm (under-18) (times are NSW time)