Titans vow not to rush recruitment
Gold Coast Titans coach Neil Henry insists the club will consider the long-term implications of any new player signings before rushing to fill the void created by the club's current injury crisis.
The Titans have made no secret of their interest in adding a further outside back to complete their roster for the 2017 season and with Jarryd Hayne (ankle) and Anthony Don (shoulder) joining a list of unavailable players that includes John Olive (pectoral), William Zillman (calf), Dan Sarginson (knee), Daniel Vidot (groin) and Nathan Davis (released) that need has suddenly become greater.
Henry's patience with the player market was rewarded handsomely last year when the club picked up Nathan Peats, Konrad Hurrell and Hayne mid-season but with so many players sidelined for a month or more they may have to be more aggressive this year.
Former Bronco Dale Copley played 14 games for the Roosters last season but has started the year playing for Wyong in the Intrust Super Premiership and been discussed as a potential target for the Titans.
The issue facing the Titans is that Copley is contracted to the Roosters until the end of the 2018 season and would likely need a long-term offer to relocate back to Queensland and join the Titans.
Hey Titans fans, if the club was going to sign an outside back tomorrow, who would be your preference?— Tony Webeck (@TonyWebeck) March 13, 2017
Don, Sarginson, Olive, Vidot and Konrad Hurrell are all signed until the end of next season and with promising youngsters in Tyronne Roberts-Davis and Phillip Sami coming up through the under-20s Henry said the club won't be forced into a quick fix.
"There's been no formal offer [to Copley] or agreement there and he's contracted for two more years at the Roosters," Henry said.
"He could certainly be the right fit, left centre or winger, big body, he's certainly got some ability but it's whether or not he's surplus to what the Roosters have got and then things can happen.
"We'll wait and see. Certainly he could be an outside chance. At the moment there's not a lot of outside backs and a lot of teams are struggling with lack of depth in the outside backs.
"You've got to get your head around the immediate fix as much as the long-term viability of a player coming here.
"If you're locking into multi-year deals or a couple of years down the track you've got to have a view to the future as well and also have a view whether what you have got here is OK and that there are guys that can step up and play.
"First of all you look at the need then you look at the fit and then you look at the [salary] cap implications."
Nineteen-year-old Roberts-Davis was impressive in his NRL debut against the Knights last Saturday, finishing off a try in the corner, making three tackle busts and a total of 80 run metres, including a couple of strong carries coming out of the Titans' end.
He'll be given a further opportunity to establish his first grade credentials when he lines up against former Titan Josh Hoffman who will be on the right wing for the Eels on Friday night.
Although adamant that two losses to start the reason is not cause for panic, Henry did admit that the Titans somehow need to find some wins in the coming weeks without many of their best players available.
"We're not panicking," Henry said.
"It's two rounds in and there are a number of teams that have lost both their games so we need to think about getting players back, we need to build a couple of wins in our next three or four games if we can.
"If we can do that then we have the opportunity to get players back at a crucial time and get on a bit of a run."