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Holmes happy Hayne Plane ready for takeoff

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 20/04/2017 Laine Clark

Speculation that Jarryd Hayne will make a long-awaited return for the Titans is music to the ears of his opposite number - Cronulla fullback Valentine Holmes.

The injury-hit Gold Coast are now believed to have just one top-17 player left on the sidelines - prop Agnatius Paasi (shoulder) - after reports Hayne, co-captain Kevin Proctor and centre Konrad Hurrell were all given the green light for Saturday's clash at Southern Cross Stadium.

After being sidelined for five weeks with ankle complaint, Hayne is expected to receive the official thumbs up after Titans training on Friday.

He is set to replace Tyrone Roberts at fullback, putting him on a collision course with Holmes, not that the Sharks' No.1 is complaining.

"I feel happy. He was a big role model of mine growing up," Holmes told Fox Sports' NRL Tonight.

The Kangaroos back said he is already planning to get square with Hayne after the then-Parramatta superstar showed him up in their sole head-to-head battle to date in 2014.

Holmes was a handful of games into his debut year when a Hayne-inspired Parramatta thrashed Cronulla 32-12.

"I only played one game against him and he got the win there," Holmes said.

"It is time to make it even I think."

Proctor (hamstring) and Hurrell (knee) were considered touch and go but look set to bolster a suddenly near full-strength Titans for a must-win clash. The Gold Coast club sit second-last on the ladder and have won one from seven this season.

Cronulla, who won a remarkable 15 games straight last season, are shooting for five wins in a row but have lost three of their last five matches at home and have won only once there this year - a one-point victory over a rebuilding Newcastle in round five.

Holmes credited that scare with sparking his side's recent run.

"I think it all came off the back of our one-point win over Newcastle," he said. "It gave us a knock on the head.

"We mainly wanted to work on our defence and that seems to be working."

Cronulla have not conceded a try in their last two games - the first time they have achieved that feat since 1994 - and to do so for a third-straight week would be a first for the club but the Titans would fancy their chances of a boilover.

They have won two of their last three games at Southern Cross Stadium and snapped the Sharks' winning run last year with an epic 18-all draw.

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