Grevsmuhl gutted by McQueen departure
He played a key role in luring him to the Gold Coast so its little wonder back-rower Chris Grevsmuhl is devastated that Chris McQueen is leaving the Titans at season's end to take up a three-year deal with the Wests Tigers.
After weeks of speculation it was confirmed last week that McQueen would be a Tiger in 2018 and beyond, bringing an end to a two-year stint with the Titans after he was forced out of South Sydney to make way for Sam Burgess's return.
During his stint with the Rabbitohs McQueen become close friends with Grevsmuhl and stayed in touch when the 23-year-old first moved mid-season to Penrith last year and then walked away from the NRL altogether.
The presence of McQueen, coach Neil Henry and strength and conditioning coach Sean Edwards gave Grevsmuhl the confidence to relaunch his NRL career with the Titans so he is understandably disappointed this will be his only season with McQueen.
"It's devastating," Grevsmuhl told NRL.com.
"I love 'Krispy', and I don't say that lightly. He's been there for me through all my highs and lows and he's a good mate of mine.
"I've known for a while what he's been wanting to do and what he's been thinking about.
"The best thing is that he's looked after himself first and wherever life takes him I wish him all the best.
"Hopefully he can rip in this year and we can string a heap of wins together and reach the finals and give him the best send-off."
Although Grevsmuhl is expected to miss Saturday's clash with the Sharks due to a groin injury, McQueen insists he is "as close to 100 per cent" as he can be after missing the 42-16 loss to the Raiders with a back injury.
Speaking this week for the first time on his move to the Tigers at the end of the year, McQueen said that it was the length of the deal and not the money that was the determining factor.
"I've loved my time here," McQueen said. "I'm a Queenslander, I feel at home on the Gold Coast and I would have absolutely loved to have stayed but I am at that point in my career where I am starting to get to the back-end and the three-year deal was what got me over the line.
"If I was early 20s I would have stayed for two years but that extra year was what got me over the line.
"I'm going to be 30 by the end of this year and having three years and my future set until I'm 33 is a big thing for me."
Hoping that some of his current teammates may soon become tenants of the house he recently bought on the Gold Coast, McQueen said that the most pressing issue is how to gate-crash Cronulla's homecoming after two weeks on the road without conceding a single try.
Boasting the third-best attack in the NRL despite registering just the sole win in the first seven weeks, McQueen said that the focus all week at the Titans has been patching the holes in a leaky defence.
"The biggest thing to come out of that was our defence," McQueen said of the team's video review following their 24-22 loss to the Broncos last week.
"We've scored enough points this year that we should be winning games of footy but the problem is we're conceding too many points as well.
"I think that's the third time this year we've been leading with only five or so minutes to go and lost the game so it is frustrating but what we have to take out of that is what we are doing is working.
"There are good signs there, we just need to be a bit more consistent and hang in there for 80 minutes each game.
"As rugby league players there is always next week so it's not hard to move on to the next one but the Sharks are going great.
"They haven't had a try scored against them for two weeks so it's not going to be hard to forget about the weekend and focus for this weekend."