Ryan James is the front-runner for the Titans captaincy in 2018.

Titans captaincy up for grabs

Titans coach Garth Brennan will consult with the club's CEO and new owners before appointing his NRL captain for 2018, with incumbent Ryan James the early favourite.

James captained the side stoically throughout a difficult 2017 and is highly regarded for the leadership he provides on and off the field.

Hooker Nathan Peats is also in the mix – he has recommitted to the Titans until the end of the 2020 season and has the respect of everyone at the club.

Brennan will watch prospective candidates during pre-season training before making a decision.

While not guaranteeing anything, he indicated James was in pole position.

"Ryan is a natural leader, a Gold Coast kid who was born and bred here," Brennan said.

"He is passionate about the club and it means a lot to him.

"At this stage I can't see any reason why I would be looking to change the captaincy, but it is something I will assess over the next few months. 

"I will speak to [Titans CEO] Graham Annesley as well because [the captain] is the figurehead of the club. I will also consult the owners, whenever that happens.

"There are some real natural leaders in the team. Kevin Proctor is another one who leads fantastically. Peatsy is a leader."

Brennan identified young halfback Ash Taylor as a future captain but it is unlikely he will throw him in at the deep end at this stage of his career.

"Ash has shown some real leadership qualities here in the first two weeks of training," he said.

"Who is to say that one day Ash Taylor can't lead this team?

"I'd probably rule out Ash as the captain in 2018 but he has committed long term to the club and halfback is a position where you need to lead and own your football team." 

Brennan is yet to settle on his top 17 for 2018 but said James could be set for a switch from his regular position as a middle forward.

"Ryan James is someone I am thinking about playing on an edge," he said.

"I know Ryan has played a lot of edges in the past as a junior coming through when he had the big 'fro. Kevin Proctor has been in to him saying 'grow your hair again and we can be the 'fro bros'."

Brennan said James was open to the move and enjoyed playing on an edge.

"He loves it," he said.

"I think that is where he has seen himself [playing]."