Oates to make return for Broncos in Titans trial

Brisbane star Corey Oates will make his first appearance of the year in Saturday's trial against Gold Coast after a pre-season disrupted by a serious infection.

Oates lost six kilos and spent nine days in hospital on a drip after Christmas when a leg cut led to a recurrence of a staph infection he'd endured two years ago.

Oates in action during a Broncos training session at the Clive Berghofer Centre in Brisbane on Friday.Credit:Albert Perez/AAP

"If you'd asked me a few weeks ago whether I'd get back to top form I would have said no because I'd never felt so weak, slow and unfit in my life," Oates wrote on the club's website.

"I found it so tough to run, do gym and I felt as though I had no speed."

The Queensland State of Origin representative will start on the wing in Saturday's final tune-up at Redcliffe against the Titans.

Former skipper Darius Boyd comes in after being rested last week, with Jesse Arthars dropping back to the bench in an extended 26-man squad.

Tom Flegler will start at prop and Tevita Pangai will play in the second row, with captain Alex Glenn (hamstring) rested until their season-opener.

David Fifita will play on the other edge after turning out for the Indigenous All Stars team last Saturday.

In other team news for the league's final weekend of pre-season matches, Wayne Bennett will trot out at full-strength South Sydney team for the annual Charity Shield in Mudgee.

That includes marquee signing Latrell Mitchell, as well as new captain Adam Reynolds, and Cameron Murray in his new position in the second row.

They'll take on a St George Illawarra Dragons side featuring Trent Merrin for the first time since his departure in 2015, while James Graham has again been rested.

Cronulla have also named their best available 17, with Matt Moylan (hamstring), Bronson Xerri (shoulder) and Josh Dugan (knee) unavailable.

All three are battling to be fit for round one.

Penrith pair James Fisher-Harris and Kurt Capewell are set for their first action of the pre-season in a full-strength team in their hit-out against Parramatta in Bega.

Canterbury captain Josh Jackson and teammate Adam Elliott are another two who get to blow the cobwebs out in their trial against Canberra.


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