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Hasler's importance in rewarding youth against experienced Dolphins

As Des Hasler prepares to take the helm in his first game as Titans coach, the experienced mentor wants this weekend to be all about opportunity for the young team he's selected.

Taking charge of a side that features eight train-and-trialists, three development rookies and a further five players who are yet to make their club debut, they'll be up against it against a near full-strength Dolphins attack that features 1514 games of NRL experience as opposed to the Gold Coast's 341.

But the opposition's eagerness to roll out most of their big guns hasn't phased the five-time grand finalist who wants to reward his squad on their efforts in the pre-season.

"We thought it was important that everyone involved in the 16 weeks of preparation gets to pull on a Titans jersey," Hasler said.

"It gets to a stage where both the train and trialists and full-time players have worked significantly hard over the pre-season; so it's fantastic that some are playing for the benefits which is preparing them for Round 1, other players are playing and training to hopefully get a crack at first grade.

"I’m looking forward to seeing how they’ll perform."

‘They just want to play’: Hasler on Trial 1 v Dolphins

Hasler has left the door open for a bolter to impress in this Sunday's trial and enter his Round 1 side after confirming he hasn't finalised his final 17 for the season opener against the Dragons on March 9.

"Round 1 is still three weeks away," he said.

"A lot can happen in three weeks so we’ll see what eventuates in the next two weeks [during trials]."

With a number of Titans in the mix to be a surprise inclusion for either game one or to feature in the early parts of the season, the players' pick is Josiah Pahulu, who has been one of the best rookies dominating the pre-season at Parkwood.

The 458-game coach has also been in awe of his attitude, and is eager to see how the 19-year-old goes against the quality forward pack of the Dolphins, which includes a number of International stars.

"He’s been impressive Josiah [during the pre-season] and he gets to face some pretty impressive opposition this weekend," Hasler said.

"That’s what this opportunity is about.

"The NRL season is such a long and arduous season, so the more experience we can expose to him early, [the better].

"He had a pretty retched season last year with the foot injury, so [his opportunity] is probably long expected."

Acknowledgement of Country

Gold Coast Titans proudly acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we are situated, the Kombumerri families of the Yugambeh Language Region. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continuing connections to the lands, waters and their extended communities throughout South East Queensland.