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Hayne backs himself for NRL opener

NZN 27/02/2017 Laine Clark

Jarryd Hayne says a niggling knee injury has been a "blessing in disguise" ahead of the Gold Coast Titans' 2017 NRL season.

The star fullback appeared in doubt for Saturday night's season opener against Sydney Roosters on the Gold Coast after being sidelined for almost a month.

There were reports William Zillman had been placed on standby for Hayne who suffered the knee complaint on the Auckland Nines' opening day on February 4.

But Hayne on Monday all but dismissed any fitness fears, saying time on the sidelines had provided him much needed fresh legs for 2017.

Hayne backed himself after training strongly on Monday - his first session in three weeks.

"It's a blessing in disguise with the season coming up to keep the legs fresh," he said.

"It (knee) feels good. If it keeps feeling good I am sure I will be out there."

Hayne seemed almost relieved that his knee complaint had been discovered at the nines.

"I don't think it was the nines (that caused the injury)," Hayne said.

"It was building up to that, but at the nines it went.

"It was important I got it right (but) this is the best I have felt running and moving around."

It is believed Hayne has to complete every session this week to be considered for the season opener at Cbus Super Stadium.

However, Hayne's confidence on Monday would have provided much needed relief for Titans coach Neil Henry.

The Gold Coast mentor has already suffered enough injury dramas in 2017 with the likes of Nathan Peats, Dan Sarginson, Konrad Hurrell, Ryan Simpkins and Agnatius Paasi sidelined.

Asked about the prospect of sitting out round one, Hayne laughed: "I don't think we have any more players - everyone is injured.

"It has been a bit hectic this pre-season with a few guys going down.

"But if it (knee) keeps going like this I will be fine.

"I pulled up well from the (Monday) session which I am pretty confident went well and I have a couple of sessions left.

"Last week the first two days after I ran on it was a bit sore but it feels great today."

In another shot in the arm for the Titans, English import Joe Greenwood is an outside chance of playing this weekend after meeting his new teammates on the Gold Coast on Monday.

The former St Helens forward featured in the Titans official team photo for 2017 on Monday despite only arriving on the tourist strip hours earlier.

Hayne admitted the Titans faced a daunting task against early title favourites the Roosters on Saturday night.

However, he did not feel extra pressure to inspire an injury-ravaged Titans against the Tri-colours.

"Not really. That's my job every week - to step up, to get the win," he said.

"It will be a huge task against the Roosters, they have a lot of experience.

"It will be a great test to see where we are at - the Roosters are definitely a finals team."

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