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Holbrook points to depth driving competition for spots

It might only be November, but Titans Coach Justin Holbrook is already preparing to have some tough conversations in March.

Speaking with Triple M's The Rush Hour, Holbrook says that's a great sign of the depth that the Titans now have, as all 30 players will be pushing for a spot in the starting 17 for the round one clash against Parramatta.

"Round one is like the next game outside of a grand final, everybody wants to be in the team for round one," Holbrook said.

"Everybody has been training since November and rolling around at the start of March everyone is wanting to play and as a coach you can only pick 17.

"That is the hardest round to tell players they're not in the side, but you've got to accept that and be ok with it."

Holbrook says that comment is one that should excite Titans fans as it means there is genuine competition and depth in the playing roster.

Asked whether he felt the roster was still missing a piece or whether he was happy with the makeup of the '22 side, he responded:

"I'm really happy." 

"Obviously it is a positional change for AJ (Brimson) but I've got no issues with that, Jayden Campbell after another pre-season will be better again and young Toby Sexton who we have really high hopes for will get another pre-season in the number seven.

"The outside backs are unreal and I'm really happy with the side we've got.

"We've got plenty of depth in all positions which I'm really comfortable with and we've got a lot of young guys out of our Junior Titans System coming through.

"I'm happy with the playing roster that's for sure but that doesn't guarantee us anything.

"Our side, I'm really excited about it, but there are so many good sides in the comp."

Two-time premiership winner Isaac Liu further bolsters the Titans forward pack and Holbrook says he will add plenty to his squad.

"Isaac is going to be unreal for us.

"His experience, he is a big game player and all of the little details that he does nearly the best in the competition.

"When we talk about our side, our best players are our young ones and I think Isaac will help bring their games on, the likes of Tino (Fa'asuamaleaui), Moe (Fotuaia) and Dave (Fifita).

"He'll tidy us up around the ruck, we had some great wins but we had some pretty bad losses and that's due to inexperience and not defending well enough.

"Isaac brings that real consistency to his game and really plays at eight or nine out of ten every week and that's the exact player we needed to bring our young guys along."

Liu joins Origin representatives Fa'asuamaleaui, Fotuaika and Jarrod Wallace alond with Jaimin Jolliffe, Sam Lisone, Sam McIntyre and Herman Ese'Ese as middle forward options.

While there has been plenty of talk about the number nine jersey, Holbrook says this is another area he's confident in the Club's depth.

New recruits Aaron Booth and Will Smith join Erin Clark and Tanah Boyd as options in the position.

"Erin Clark had a really good year for us and he is going to have another great pre-season," Holbrook said.

"He is only 22 or 23 now and he has learnt a lot in his short career and he is our likely man to start at nine.

"Tanah is a real little livewire there and he played some good games at the back end of the Q-Cup year and can obviously play half as well.

"And Will Smith, his utility value and experience is going to be of great benefit for us vying for one of those bench spots."