Bird anoints Peats a 'future Blue'
New South Wales forward Greg Bird believes the Titans have another Origin representative on their hands following the announcement that Nathan Peats will leave the Eels and continue his NRL career on the Gold Coast.
Peats is expected to join his new teammates at training on Friday after he agreed to part ways with the Eels in order to alleviate their salary cap dramas late on Wednesday night but it is unclear whether he will take the field against the Roosters on Monday night.
A three-time City Origin representative and two-time Indigenous All Star, the 25-year-old has signed with the Titans until the end of the 2017 season and Bird believes he will play an integral role in the development of what is a young spine.
"I think it's a great addition to the squad. He's a pretty classy player," Bird told NRL.com.
"He's got good ball skills, he's tough, he can play a few different positions and he's probably going to be a New South Wales player in the next couple of years.
"I think it's only going to bolster our squad. Probably not convenient for a few young hookers that we've got here but having that competition for positions and keeping everyone on their toes trying to play their best for the team is only going to be good for our results."
Although the Titans have four hookers on their books for the 2016 season already Matt Srama will play no further part after rupturing his ACL and Daniel Mortimer is currently being troubled by a hamstring injury.
Srama, Mortimer, Nathan Friend and Kierran Moseley are all off contract at the end of the 2016 season as is classy outside back David Mead, the club adding England international Dan Sarginson to the roster for the next two years.
"We've got a fair way to go when it comes to our roster but I think we're moving in the right direction," was Bird's summation.
"We've got a squad of the future now. Bringing in Ash Taylor, he's come along in leaps and bounds with Kane Elgey next year, Nathan Peats, it's really starting to strengthen that young spine that we have.
"Hopefully I'm not too old to reap the benefits of it."
Like Bird, Ryan James has played with Peats in the Indigenous All Stars team in 2013 and also welcomed his addition to the Titans squad.
"He's just one of those players that play tough every week for his team," James said.
"He's a great player. Obviously we've got a lot of hookers at the club but he's just going to add extra depth.
"He can play at hooker, in the halves, in the second row or lock so adding depth like that and having a player of his calibre at the club is going to be great for the club.
"Obviously with the club going forward and signing him for the next 18 months it's going to be good for the club and for the playing roster."