By Tony Bartlett
The Gold Coast Titans have signed Brisbane Broncos outside back Steve Michaels until the end of 2012.
The former Mudgeeraba Redbacks junior trained with the team on Friday immediately after being granted a mid-season release from Brisbane, and will play for the Titans' feeder club, the Burleigh Bears this weekend.
Michaels' arrival is timely for the Titans, with centres Esi Tonga and Mat Rogers out injured and Joseph Tomane in doubt for Monday night's clash with the Roosters.
"It's all happened pretty quickly, I only know two or three but I've met heaps of them today and they've all welcomed me," Michaels said.
"The Titans have a great backline here already so obviously I'll have to earn my place here. I start playing for Burleigh this week in the Q Cup and I'll have to put a fair few good games together to get a chance up here, so it won't be easy."
Coach John Cartwright said picking up Michaels was a "no-brainer" for the Gold Coast.
"A couple of years ago he was in line for an Origin spot at one stage, he had a crisis of confidence as the Broncos did last year," Cartwright said.
"They couldn't find a place for him but for us at this stage of the year, it's an enormous get.
"For us it was a no-brainer, he's a local boy ... and he can play football which is of most concern to us.
"Getting out of the environment he was in will help him.
"You never forget how to play football and he's only 23 years of age so to go from being talked about at State of Origin level as a 21-year-old, to get him now at the stage of his career that he's at is enormous for the club."
Titans managing Director Michael Searle said Michaels, who made his NRL debut for the Broncos in 2005 as a teenager and has scored 22 tries in 59 first grade games, has been a player of interest for a number of years.
"His speed and try-scoring ability will add significant depth to the Titans backline over the next three seasons," he said.