Gold Coast might be topping the NRL table but Hollywood superstar Dwayne Johnson’s arrival has ensured they can’t hog the local limelight.
Don’t make Dave Taylor angry.
You won’t like him when he is angry.
Some tough calls await NRL table-topping Gold Coast NRL coach John Cartwright as he weighs up replacing in-form No.1 David Mead with fit-again fullback William Zillman ahead of Monday night’s away clash with Penrith.
But it seems one thing is clear – Cartwright has backed a rejuvenated Taylor to outmuscle most, including visiting Hollywood star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
Cartwright admitted his team had been distracted by Johnson’s recent arrival on the glitter strip to begin filming for the $100 million adventure epic “San Andreas”.
“There’s a bit of excitement amongst the boys,” Cartwright said.
“He’s struck a chord. I’m a bit worried actually – they seem to like him a bit too much.”
However, Cartwright knew who he would rather have in his corner on Monday.
Asked who in his ranks would be able to combat wrestling superstar Johnson, Cartwright said: “I would hate to see Dave angry.
“And I have never seen Dave angry – that might be a tactic we use.”
First things first, though – apart from weighing up the fitness of Zillman (hamstring), Cartwright must also assess winger Anthony Don (dislocated finger).
However, Cartwright could confirm young gun Ryan James (shoulder) would run on off the bench for veteran forward Luke Bailey (ankle).
Gold Coast take on a Penrith outfit who welcome back Tyrone Peachey for Lewis Brown (pectoral).
Curtis Rona will make his NRL debut for North Queensland replacing centre Antonio Winterstein (hamstring) in Friday night’s away game against Manly who have forward Jason King coming back.
Braith Anasta will return from suspension and take up the captaincy from Robbie Farah (elbow) for the Wests Tigers in their Monday trip to the in-form Parramatta.
For the Eels, Darcy Lussick is in for Peni Terepo on the bench while forward Fuifui Moimoi moves to the starting line-up.
At the Warriors, barnstorming Konrad Hurrell was controversially dropped for Saturday night’s away clash with St George Illawarra.
“Konrad knows what he has to work on and he’ll do that with the NSW Cup side,” said acting head coach Andrew McFadden.
“It’s a performance-related matter concerning his defensive effort KPIs. It has been made clear to him what he needs to improve on.”
Surprisingly, the Dragons named Dylan Farrell despite him battling a pectoral injury.