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Harrison back for local derby clash

Date

Wayne Heming

Gold Coast Titans lock Ashley Harrison.

Gold Coast Titans lock Ashley Harrison. Photo: Getty Images

Gold Coast's representative lock Ashley Harrison will return from injury in Friday night's NRL derby with Brisbane but Greg Bird was not in coach John Cartwright's squad today.

Bird (pectoral muscle) had been hoping to return for the Skilled Park blockbuster and could still be a late inclusion if he improves further by Thursday.

The Titans, who need to upset Brisbane to stay in the race for the top eight, will have young winger David Mead back after he missed the win over Canberra to attend his father's funeral in Papua New Guinea last week.

Harrison is back earlier than expected after he was ruled out of this month's State of Origin series with a fractured big toe.

Forward leaders Luke Bailey and Nate Myles have both declared they will play despite carrying injuries.

Bailey played with a pain-killing injection and protective padding on his damaged ribs against the Raiders and may need a needle again to take the field on Friday night.

Utility back Steve Michaels, who grabbed a brace of tries on the wing in Mead's absence, will move to the centers while utility Luke O'Dwyer drops back to the bench as cover for injured forward Ben Ridge (pectoral muscle).

In further good news five-eighth Aidan Sezer has been named after scans cleared him of a fractured hand.

Cartwright has further bulked up the size adding 121kg giant Ryan James to a squad already featuring intimidating centre Jamal Idris at an imposing 127kg.

AAP

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