Titans planning for life without Hayne
Titans coach Garth Brennan will first examine his own roster and Gold Coast-area talent before looking at the open market if he needs to find a fullback replacement for Jarryd Hayne.
Brennan has told NRL.com that he would wait until Hayne returned from World Cup duty with Fiji to discuss his future face-to-face.
"It is not something I am going to do over the phone," he said.
That plan hasn't changed, although Brennan said on Tuesday that "there may be some merit" to reports Hayne's move to the Eels was a done deal.
"Until I speak to Jarryd or his management… I have to expect that Jarryd is going to be here after the New Year ready to rip in for the Titans," he said.
If that doesn't happen and the move to the Eels does, Brennan has several options.
"There are some young guys here who have played fullback like Brendan Elliot for the Newcastle Knights," Brennan said.
"Tyronne Roberts-Davis has played fullback and Dan Sarginson played fullback in Wigan's Super League grand final, so we have some options there.
"Obviously if Jarryd was to leave, the salary cap position would change. But we are not going to become a dumping ground. We are not going to rush out and sign someone just because we have some money.
"We will be very selective … about the quality of person we bring in to the Gold Coast Titans."
Brennan said he would sign a fullback "if the right person came along" but reiterated his focus on unearthing local talent.
"I want to get into the local areas like Burleigh, Tweed and the Gold Coast community," he said.
"There might be an 18-year-old fullback out there who is a superstar waiting to be picked up.
"I will be very strategic in my recruiting about what is in our local area. If there is nothing, I might have to look at a new recruit."