Sarginson to start with Titans before Christmas
Gold Coast coach Neil Henry expects England international Dan Sarginson to begin training with his new club prior to Christmas following the end to the Four Nations tournament in England over the weekend.
Despite running for 120 metres and not missing any tackles in England's opening 17-16 loss to the Kiwis, Sarginson didn't feature again in the tournament as coach Wayne Bennett instead opted for Mark Percival as Kallum Watkins' centre partner.
At 23 years of age Sarginson has played 125 games in the Super League and three Tests for England and is seen as a key signing given the departures of David Mead, Josh Hoffman, Nene Macdonald and most recently exciting prospect Brian Kelly.
The Titans' other notable signing yet to join the club ahead of the 2017 season is New Zealand back-rower Kevin Proctor. Proctor played against the Kangaroos in New Zealand's 34-8 defeat in the Four Nations final early Monday morning and as such is not expected at training until January but Henry is hopeful of bringing Sarginson into the system in the next couple of weeks.
"We expect Dan Sarginson here around the 10th or 11th of December and hopefully get about a week's training in before Christmas," Henry said on Tuesday.
"He's having a couple of weeks in London and then getting organised to come out.
"He just needs to meet some of the boys and start getting into some of our ballwork. It's going to be all new for him. We need to see how he is physically.
"He didn't play that last game [for England] so he's had a bit of a break already. He hasn't got any injuries that I know of so he should be able to get a week of training in and get familiar with the new training facility here and some new team-mates and try and get settled on the Coast before Christmas."
Disappointed to lose Kelly to the Sea Eagles, Henry said there was little point standing in the way of the 20-year-old after he had agreed to terms with Manly for the 2018-2019 seasons.
Despite losing Kelly the Titans still have John Olive and Nathan Davis ready to come back into the mix after injury-interrupted seasons in 2016 but Henry did suggest they will bolster the depth in the outside backs with further additions to the squad.
"He got a very good offer from Manly for '18-19 and that's the way it is at the moment," Henry said of Kelly. "You're forced to make decisions about players even though they're contracted because once it rolls around November 1 you can negotiate.
"Unfortunately that's how it is and we couldn't match that offer and he's going down there for an opportunity.
"We had an option to keep him for a year but if he's signed to go somewhere else [the following year] it makes it very difficult.
"Obviously the outside backs is an area losing those players that we need to look at and we need to strengthen our depth in that area.
"There's probably three possibilities around contracts – full-time second tier – and I think we'd still have two spots to go in our top tier.
"We're being a little bit patient. We need to look at our cap position as well and see what we've got."