NRL: Prince expects a pummelling on return to Gold Coast

By Wayne Heming

Scott Prince. Photo / Getty Images
Scott Prince. Photo / Getty Images

Scott Prince has spent the week preparing for the hammering his former club Gold Coast is plotting for his NRL return to Skilled Park with Brisbane tonight.

Despite assurances from former teammates, including Queensland Origin forward Ashley Harrison, that the players harbour no hard feeling towards their ex-captain, Prince is bracing for a torrid night and has put in extra work on his tackling.

Gold Coast coach John Cartwright has assembled a big-man army to trample playmaker Prince on the right side where he defends.

Giant forward Dave Taylor and enforcer Greg Bird will attack Prince's edge in a bid to work him over but the likes of 110kg-plus Ryan James and Jamal Idris could also head his way at some stage.

Brisbane signed Prince late last year after his falling out with Gold Coast, who initiated negotiations to offload him to Super League club Hull without his permission.

Despite five seasons as a Titans favourite, Prince expects a fairly hostile reception from the Skilled Park faithful.

Harrison stressed the players had no hard feelings towards their former No7 playmaker.

However, he could not guarantee Prince's at-times suspect defence would not be well tested by a flood of heavyweight runners.

"Princey's a great mate to a lot of us here and we're glad he's got a start up there and him and his family are happy," said Harrison, who has recovered from concussion to take his place in the derby clash.

"Who knows? We'll have to wait and see. I suppose the boys on the edges will have to dictate what they do there but I'm sure Princey will be doing a bit of extra tackling practice this week."

Alex Glenn, who'll assume the Brisbane captaincy reins from suspended forward Sam Thaiday, said Prince was prepared for his former teammates to try to "get him".

"Our forwards will have to make sure they do all they can to protect him," said Glenn, who has a 3-2 captaincy record.

"Princey has worked overtime on his defence all week anticipating what is coming."

Brisbane coach Anthony Griffin confirmed Scott Anderson would fill Thaiday's front-row spot with Dave Hala playing his first game this season off the bench.

With both Thaiday and David Stagg (medial) missing, Brisbane will have to make some defensive adjustments against the robust Titans.

"We've known all week those two guys aren't going to be there and we've had a good week [preparing]," said Griffin. "We lose a bit of experience but we give a few other guys an opportunity and I am sure they will do the job for us."

- AAP

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