Arrow focused on Broncos before Titans
Jai Arrow spent many sleepless nights deciding on his future but in the end it was the opportunity to play first grade week in, week out that persuaded him to leave the club that has given him so much.
Arrow will depart the Brisbane Broncos at the end of the season, with the up-and-coming lock this week signing a three-year deal to join the Gold Coast Titans.
The 22-year-old has been in Brisbane's system since the age of 15 and he has long been touted as Corey Parker's long-term replacement, but the Titans offered him something the Broncos could not – guaranteed minutes.
It is a huge signing for Gold Coast, with Arrow having achieved so much in his short but flourishing rugby league career.
Arrow has already represented Australia, running out for the Australian Schoolboys in 2012 and the Junior Kangaroos in 2015.
He also played for the Queensland under-20s in 2015 before being named at lock in the NYC Team of the Year after a stellar season captaining Brisbane's side.
He then progressed to first grade and has now played 20 games in the NRL over the past two years, with majority of these coming off the Broncos' bench.
Arrow has been in and out of the side for much of this two-year period, filling in for injuries and suspensions after falling behind Tevita Pangai Jnr, Herman Ese'ese and Joe Ofahengaue in Brisbane's pecking order.
A Burleigh Bears junior, Arrow will now move back to where it all began with the guarantee of a starting lock position for 2018.
It was an offer too good to refuse for Arrow who admitted he was relieved to have his future finally sorted.
"I saw a better opportunity down there. I have no regrets. I'm going down there to prove myself and show that I can be a fulltime starting footballer in first grade," Arrow said.
"It was very hard [to decide to leave]. I was tossing and turning at night. I've had a couple of sleepless nights thinking about it because I consider myself a very loyal guy. It's done now and there's a lot of relief."
Arrow was solid on Friday night, running for 100 metres and making 15 tackles in Brisbane's comprehensive 32-10 win over the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks at Suncorp Stadium.
With the suspended Ofahengaue out for a further two matches, Arrow now has an opportunity to cement his position in Brisbane's line-up for the remainder of the year – a fact not lost on him as he approaches the end of his Broncos career.
"My focus is on the Broncos 100 per cent. The Titans are next year so for this year I want to focus on playing good footy for Brisbane," Arrow said.
"It was very hard for me to walk away from a club that's given me so much. I just felt like it was something that I had to do.
"I'm so grateful for this club. They've done so much for me and I can't thank them enough. They've been so good to me."
Brisbane's current lock Josh McGuire was full of admiration for Arrow after watching him come through the ranks at the Broncos over the years.
Although McGuire understands the reasoning behind Arrow's departure, he is holding out hope that he may one day return to Red Hill.
"He's a very classy football player. He's cruising down the M1 to get his opportunity and the Titans definitely have a very hand pick-up there," McGuire said.
"I think he's a future representative player but that's just the way it is these days, you can't keep everyone. Wayne has let him go to give him an opportunity but you never know... He might cruise back up the highway in a few years."