Wallace focused on unfinished Bronco business
He is the second-biggest signing called Jarrod that the Titans have made for the 2017 season but Broncos prop Jarrod Wallace is determined to leave Brisbane with another finals campaign that goes deep into September.
One of only four Broncos players to have appeared in every game thus far this season, Wallace has been moved back to a spot on the bench against the Eels at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night following the return of Brisbane's bevy of representative forwards last week against the Dragons.
Like almost everyone in rugby league Wallace was fascinated by the NRL return and Titans debut of Jarryd Hayne last Sunday and while he made one thing clear – "I don't want Wallace-cam" – the 25-year-old Gold Coast junior said his focus remains very much in the here and now.
Drafted into Queensland's Emerging Origin camp at the start of the year, the signature of Wallace to a three-year deal is viewed by Gold Coast officials as another key building block in their climb to the top of the Telstra Premiership. But he first wants to repay the faith of the club who handed him an NRL debut in 2012 before departing Red Hill.
"I am going to the Gold Coast next year but I want to go out on a good note," Wallace told NRL.com.
"I've got some great friends and this club's gotten to me where I am so I just want to repay everyone here and show them that.
"I love being here with the boys and when the end of the year comes that will be when I start thinking about it but not at the moment.
"It will be an exciting time and a fresh start. It will really show where I'm at football-career wise. Changing to a new team with new players, I'm really looking forward to the challenge of doing it. It will be good for my family as well, moving down there.
"All my family is down there so it will be good once we get down there."
Excited at the prospect of playing alongside Hayne from next season, Wallace has watched the former 49er's progress closely and expects his transition back into the NRL to take a bit of time.
"It was good to see him do what he did in the NFL and the rugby and things like that but it's good to see him back. It's good for the NRL and good to have him back," Wallace said.
"He'll be a good contributor to that side. He brings a lot on the field.
"It will probably take him a couple of weeks to get back into that rhythm and timing and things like that but he's a first-class player."
The opportunity to secure a more regular starting position was a driving force in Wallace's decision to sign with the club where he played under-20s.
He has started in just five games for the Broncos this season and 10 overall in his 67 first grade games to date.
His last starting role came against the Panthers in Round 20 where he deputised for the injured Matt Gillett in the second row.
Returning from a shoulder injury against the Dragons last Thursday night, Gillett made 52 tackles in a 72-minute performance and Wallace said that he is key to Brisbane's hopes of contending for a top four spot in the closing weeks.
"He's a big key to our right-side defence and attack," Wallace said. "In his first game back he made 52 tackles and came off with 10 minutes to go.
"He's definitely a big part of our side and definitely handy to have him back. Hopefully he can keep going well for the rest of the year.
"He definitely talks a lot in defence and things like that. Our halves do a lot of the organising but he's definitely a big talker and a big part of our side."