Peats to skipper Titans, Hayne returns to team
NATHAN Peats will officially lead the Gold Coast out for the first time on Saturday after regular skipper Ryan James succumbed to a shoulder injury.
James had led the side in all 22 matches this season - first as co-captain with Kevin Proctor, then solely when the Kiwi second-rower was stripped of the position for his part in a drug scandal.
In the hard-working prop's absence, Proctor will be overlooked for a recall to the captaincy, with the job instead falling to Peats.
The NSW State of Origin hooker has been a key figure in pulling the squad together through a treacherous period that culminated in coach Neil Henry's sacking on Monday.
With James admitting he had struggled coping with the high-pressure role, even turning to French-based former Titans leader Greg Bird recently, this could be a sign of the future given Peats' high standing within the playing group.
Agnatius Paasi is back after missing the past two matches and will adopt James' No.10 jersey.
The man at the centre of the Henry saga - the ever-controversial Jarryd Hayne - has been named to return from an ankle injury at fullback for the clash with Canterbury.
Having had a falling-out with the veteran coach, Hayne was a late withdrawal from last Thursday's match against Parramatta in what was Henry's last game in charge.
Jarrod Wallace and Max King also return while Phillip Sami will start in the centres for the first time at NRL level, replacing John Olive who suffered a gruesome elbow injury in the 30-8 loss to the Eels.
Assistants Terry Matterson and Craig Hodges will co-coach the side.
The 3pm kick-off at Cbus Super Stadium against the 12th-placed Bulldogs shapes as a major chance for the Titans to snap their five-game losing streak.