Titans roster a 'work in progress'

He is stripping it back and starting from scratch but Titans coach Neil Henry says it may be another 12 months before he has assembled a squad he believes can deliver the Gold Coast a maiden Telstra Premiership title.

 

The Titans play their final home game of the season at Cbus Super Stadium against the Dragons on Sunday with a team that will look vastly different to that which lines up in Round 1 next season.

Six members of the 18-man squad named by Henry on Tuesday have committed to other clubs or not received an offer to stay on the Gold Coast with another nine members of the larger playing squad also on their way out.

Front-rower Matthew White is the latest Titan to be granted to permission to leave, taking up a one-year offer to join the Melbourne Storm from 2016 despite having a year to run on his current contract.

The Titans have added David Shillington (Raiders), Nathan Friend (Warriors), Tyrone Roberts (Knights), Ashley Taylor (Broncos) and Zeb Taia (Catalans) to their roster for next season and Henry said the departure of White will see the club head back into the market.

"We will need to replace 'Whitey' and he's been a mainstay," Henry said. "He's been solid in his time at the club and he sees an opportunity to go down to a successful club in Melbourne.

"There'll be a couple more additions too. We've got a couple of positions to look at around our top 25 moving forward so whether or not we're looking at a centre or a back-rower or a front-rower, they're the areas we need to shore up as well.

"We need to replace Nate Myles and Aidan Sezer with experience and we have done that to a certain degree but there is still quite an inexperienced halves combination with Kane [Elgey] not having played too many games but Tyrone does add that 90-100 games of NRL experience."

Under-20s players Brian Kelly, Oshae Tuiasau and Karl Lawton will graduate to the full-time NRL squad over the pre-season but Henry said there will be further adjustments to the roster next season.

Ahead of Old Boys day on Sunday, Henry praised those who assembled the Titans' initial roster in 2007 and conceded that it has been difficult to get the right players to the club under the right circumstances in recent years.

"There's no doubt we're at a stage where we need to change things up," said Henry, who also suggested that the club is seeking assistance from the NRL to bolster the size of the coaching staff.

"All the rosters evolve and certain coaches have certain ideas about who they want in their team and this club certainly went through with its initial roster that they did a tremendous job putting together.

"There was experience there as well as some young guys coming through and I think they had that mixture really right for a few years to get within one game of the grand final in 2010. But since then we haven't been able as a club to recruit or maintain that quality across the roster.

"We do have a cycle where there will be a number of players off at the end of next season and then we can go into the marketplace again.

"Some players will be retained for sure but it will be next year as well around our outside backs that there is a bit of turnover that can happen.

"It's the year after that you're probably starting to get close to what you want."

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