Titans prop Jai Arrow says new head coach Justin Holbrook will get star half Ash Taylor firing again and can't wait to reunite with his former Junior Kangaroos coach.
Arrow and Taylor played at lock and in the halves respectively in the Junior Kangaroos 22-20 win over the Kiwis in 2015 on the Gold Coast.
Taylor took personal leave during the year but is back training with the Titans and is on the cusp of returning in the Telstra Premiership after a stint with the Tweed Seagulls.
Arrow said the Junior Kangaroos experience Holbrook and Taylor had provided a taste of what was to come.
"Ash got man of the match in that [2015 Junior Kangaroos] game so Justin definitely got the best out of him then. He can get the best out of Ash again and that is only going to be good for us and exciting for us," Arrow said.
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"Ash is a quality player. The first time I played with Ash was under 12s Queensland and he has always been pretty freakish.
"He had a few little hiccups in the middle of the year and rugby league can do that to you. It is a cut-throat business. It is a hard sport and a tough game to play consistently week-in and week-out.
"You have those weeks where you can't get up for the job but you have to. It is our job, but Ash has been really good the last couple of weeks."
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Arrow said Holbrook was "a genuinely good guy who cares about the players and gets the best out of players as well".
"I only spent 10 days with him but I enjoyed being coached by him. He's had success in the Super League and sees good things ahead on the Gold Coast. He has said he thinks the team and the club can be successful. That is exciting," Arrow said.
"I am down there in my home town and I want to lead that club to success. I am looking forward to working with him in November."
Arrow said his own experience led him to believe Holbrook was a coach who would hold players accountable but also reward those who delivered.
"What stood out was that he was very approachable. He told you things you need to work on but would also say 'you are doing this well and keep at it'," he said.
"If you improved the things you needed to he would do the right thing by you. I'm sure he will get the best out of everyone and train us hard in the pre-season so by round one next year he has got us firing and playing good footy."
Arrow said the Titans could now focus on returning to being a finals team and had certainty about the future now that the dramas around the sacking of Garth Brennan were behind them.
"I can understand that the media was all looking for a story when we were sort of an easy target with the coach getting fired, but there is clarity now and we can look to the future and be a top-four club and playing finals footy," Arrow said.
"We are not there just to get a pay cheque. We are all there to try and play finals footy and to be playing at the crunch end of the year. I am looking forward to Justin coming over and working with him for a whole 12 months and seeing what he can do with the team."
As for his own return to the playing arena after two months on the sidelines with an ankle injury, Arrow has targeted the away round 21 clash with the Dragons.
"I did a running session yesterday which was the best running session I have had," he said.