Canavan to move fast on Titans roster
Improving the player roster is new Titans chief operating officer Brian Canavan's immediate priority and he insists that the club will be "very, very active" in bringing elite-level talent to the Gold Coast.
On his second day in the job Canavan fronted a large media contingent along with Titans CEO Graham Annesley to reveal what convinced him to leave the Roosters and outline the path the Titans must now take to become genuine premiership contenders.
After a five-year stint as Roosters CEO from 2003-2008 Canavan returned to the club in 2012 in the capacity of COO and in the space of 12 months the Roosters were being crowned Telstra Premiership champions.
Having run 13th the year prior the Roosters brought in a new coach in Trent Robinson and high-profile recruits Sonny Bill Williams, Michael Jennings and James Maloney and the results were immediate.
Titans coach Neil Henry has said that he is still on the lookout for a prop and centre to add to the roster for the 2016 season and despite Round 1 kicking off in less than five weeks' time Canavan believes opportunities to recruit new players are never far away.
"We're getting ready to play so the performance programs and the player list will be the things that you'd look at and you just hope that you can improve them very quickly," Canavan said.
"I'm not worried about the player list. The salary cap causes movement of players virtually on a weekly basis. There is always something happening within a club so if there is someone available and we need that person, we can selectively recruit.
"There are always things right at the end of the pre-season block as clubs play their trials. After they have played their trials clubs see which players they need or don't need and there is a little bit of movement there and then there's another block 6-10 weeks where players sort themselves out and then there is the June 30 deadline that allows movement there."
While his former club is regularly linked to any future returns to the NRL of superstars Sonny Bill Williams and Jarryd Hayne, the Titans are very rarely featured in such high-level discussions, the Daly Cherry-Evans backflip a crippling blow to the club.
Third-party sponsorships have been traditionally difficult for Titans players to acquire to supplement their playing income but Canavan said it will be his responsibility to ensure the Gold Coast is a place where the game's best players choose to take their careers.
"When players like that (Williams and Hayne) become available, if they're the type of player you want and need in your club, you've got to be very, very active," he said.
"We'll be active in selling this club and this environment a little bit more perhaps because I'm an extra body.
"Those sorts of players go to the more densely-populated areas and at this stage it is Sydney in rugby league but then you will get a marquee player available who loves to come to an environment like this and they may not be as interested in the commercial aspects of their sporting performance.
"This place has got so much to offer. It's probably the area in what it offers is probably its greatest resource. I come from inner city in Sydney and this is far more appealing in terms of a place to live."
On the same day that the first sod was turned on the Titans' new training and administrative base at Parkwood International, CEO Graham Annesley said that the mere appointment of an administrator of Canavan's experience and standing was proof enough that the club has a bright future.
"To have someone who is a born and bred Queenslander involved in a Queensland-based club is important but if he thought this club was a basket case with no future he wouldn't have come," said Annesley.
"You don't walk away from a club like the Roosters with the level of success and professionalism that it has had for a long time and come to the Titans if you think the place is about to fall over or is a basket case with no future.
"He's here because he can see the potential that this joint has."