Falloon ready for fresh start in England
Titans hooker Beau Falloon is strongly considering leaving the NRL in favour of the UK Super League, conceding that a fresh start overseas may be the best option at this stage of his career.
A City Origin representative and the Titans' player of the year in 2014, Falloon has endured a wretched season this year which began with a club-imposed suspension relating to drugs charges that are still hanging over his and the heads of four other Titans players.
Having battled a hamstring injury in the pre-season, Falloon was sidelined for two weeks with a shoulder injury mid-year and then as he prepared to make his comeback suffered a dislocated wrist in a training mishap that kept him off the field for a further six weeks.
Sunday's clash with the Dragons at Cbus Super Stadium will mark just his 11th game of the year and his last home game as a Titan having been told midway through the season by coach Neil Henry that he was not part of the club's plans beyond 2015.
The 28-year-old has attracted interest from within the NRL as well as overseas but said given that 2015 has "been the most stressful year I've ever had" taking up an offer in England is now looking like the most attractive option.
"I'm at a time in my career where a new challenge would be good for me," said Falloon, who has played 58 of his 83 career NRL games at the Titans over the past four seasons.
"I'm 28 and I'm as hungry as ever to keep improving as a player.
"Where that may lie, I'm keen and excited for what happens in my future.
"It's been a very stressful year to be honest. Me and my partner, she's been pretty stressed out at home. She hasn't been through this off-contract stuff before so she's been doing it a bit tough.
"It's been a tough year but to be honest it's just not being out on the field for most of the year. That's where you do your talking. We're paid to play footy and when you're not able to do that you get depressed.
"Everyone has those sorts of years so hopefully the next chapter of my life is a lot more positive than this year.
"Not knowing where I'm going to be [is the scariest part].I'm sitting here now and I don't know where I'm going to be in three or four months time.
"Hopefully we can sort something out in the next few weeks and really look forward to the new challenge."
Determined to finish on a high with a win on Sunday, Falloon holds no ill-feelings towards the Titans who recruited him after he was named the 2011 NSW Cup player of the year while contracted to South Sydney.
One of his closest friends in the team, Greg Bird, is still coming to terms with the fact that Falloon won't be part of the club beyond this season and said his absence during the course of this year hurt the Titans' finals chances.
"They missed his leadership and they missed his steady head when under pressure," Bird told NRL.com.
"There's a bit of a learning curve for a few of the younger guys especially a guy like Kierran Moseley who could have used having Beauy out there.
"He does everything right, he trains hard and he's someone you can trust. I'm very disappointed to see him leave and I wish circumstances were different so he could still be our hooker next year."
Such is the esteem Falloon was held soon after joining the club in 2012, teammates chipped in and bought him a pet Bulldog who he named Axe as a way to deal with the disappointment of tearing his bicep in a pre-season trial game.
"You try to earn your respect and stuff on the field so not to have even played a game for the club and for them to do something like that for me meant a lot and I couldn't thank them enough," said Falloon, who plans to take Axe with him should he move to England.
"On the field we haven't been getting the results so everyone's going to question the culture of the club but these blokes who we play for every week, I'd go out and die for them because they're just unbelievable blokes.
"I couldn't think of anything I'd want more than going out and playing footy with them every week. I'm very lucky to be able to do that.
"I love this club. It's disappointing I'm not going to be here but that's the way footy is at the moment. Players come and go. It's part of the business.
"I'm definitely going to miss playing footy with them."