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Titans skipper Ryan James.

Titans captain Ryan James insists Mal Meninga's arrival will bring the "winning culture" the club has been seeking and enhance the significant positive steps the Gold Coast have already made on and off the field to become a successful organisation.

Meninga's appointment to a three-year deal as Titans head of performance and culture last week has coincided with the arrival of star recruit Tyrone Peachey to pre-season training three weeks earlier than he was required and Bryce Cartwright turning up to the new off-season in what coach Garth Brennan said was the best physical condition and head space he had seen him in.

James noted Meninga's background at helping create the juggernaut that was the Canberra Raiders of the late 1980s and 1990s, his history-making coaching career with the Queensland Maroons and World Cup success as the Kangaroos mentor as evidence that wherever the Immortal goes, success follows.

"We weren't heading in the wrong direction but Mal is someone who can add that experience of a winning culture, and the club probably hasn't had too much of that," James told

"He's come from winning cultures and created them, won premierships and he's an Immortal. What more to you need to add to your resume to bring a winning culture to a club?

Nathan Peats leads the Titans at training.
Nathan Peats leads the Titans at training. ©Gold Coast Titans

"I was lucky enough to have guys here like Nate Myles who played under him and he'd always speak so highly of Mal and how he has this great aura about him. Mal is the Australian coach as well and just him being around the club will demand everyone trains that bit harder. I really believe he is one of the better signings the club has ever had."

Cartwright had a season to forget in 2018 but James said the early signs were good that the newly married back-rower had re-evaluated his career and taken steps to fulfil his undoubted potential.  

"There was about eight of us who went on runs in the off-season to keep the fitness up and the legs ticking over and Carty was there with us every time and sticking with us," James said.

"He's turned up in great shape and his head is definitely in the right place. He has that much skill and ability so if we can unlock that and get Carty firing this season it is going to be great for the Titans."

Peachey toured New Zealand with the Kangaroos and the former Penrith Panther could be sunning himself on a Gold Coast beach and taking his entitled break. 

The Gold Coast Titans at pre-season training.
The Gold Coast Titans at pre-season training. ©Gold Coast Titans

"I asked him at training this morning 'what are you doing here?' and he said 'I don't know the players so I may as well come here and learn'," James enthused.

"He's just come off a tour and just moved up here so he could have had his break, but he's ripped straight into training and decided to come in early and learn everything he can so he's best prepared for the season ahead. I take my hat off to him."

James said the launch of the Titans Elite Development System last week would also provide provide a major boost to recruitment and development in the club's backyard.

"With the TEDS program coming on the kids have a clear pathway  to work their way into the Titans now. That is making locals want to play here and we will keep getting our local juniors like Brian Kelly back," James said.

"It means so much more when you are playing for the jersey and you are from the area. Sometimes you have to go outside the area with guys like Tyrone Peachey and Shannon Boyd, but signing them on longer deals makes them feel at home." 

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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