The Titans confirmed their interest in Junior Kangaroos captain David Fifita with the club's head of culture – and Test coach – Mal Meninga saying the young prop is someone the Gold Coast could build a team around.
Fifita, who turned 20 on Tuesday, is off contract with the Broncos this year. He has a link with the Gold Coast having attended Keebra Park High School, the breeding ground of many NRL players like Benji Marshall, Corey Norman, AJ Brimson, Jai Arrow, Isaac Liu, Jordan Kahu and Te Maire Martin.
A report in The Courier-Mail at the weekend said the Titans had entered the race for Fifita's signature.
"Absolutely, if he's available. He's someone we'd love to talk to," Meninga said at Fox League's season launch.
"We're a club on the up and if Dave becomes available, and we're in the picture, we'll certainly be having those conversations.
"He is a marquee player and you can invest in Dave for a long period of time, bit like Jason Taumalolo, that you can make a team around.
"And he would bring other talent to the club. But our junior systems are going well. We've got a lot of talent on the Coast and Dave himself grew up there."
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Meninga skirted around reports that Titans hierarchy had already spoken with Fifita's management.
"We're not talking at the moment. Dave has put everything on hold – he just wants to get his footy going as he's had an up-and-down off-season," Meninga said, referring to an incident in a Bali hotel in November.
"At some stage he'll look to his future and we'll know through his manager when he's right to talk or not."
Meninga didn't know how realistic the chance was of Fifita leaving the Broncos, but reiterated that the Titans were the next best option geographically speaking.
"I do think he'd be happy at the Broncos – they've nurtured him and have given him every opportunity to be who he is at the moment," said Meninga of Fifita breaking into both the Queensland Origin and Australian Nines sides.
"He's very family-orientated; he doesn't live too far away from the Broncos; and his mum and dad play a big role in his decision-making.
"We hear he doesn't want to venture too far from Brisbane – doesn't really want to come to Sydney. So with those things in mind, there's only one other option for him and that's the Titans."
As for speculation that the ARL Commission will seek to expand the NRL to 17 teams having a second club in Brisbane for the 2023 season, Meninga says the Titans are ready for that competitive fight.
"All we can do is shore up our space and make sure we do everything we can to show the people of the Gold Coast and (NSW) Northern Rivers area that we're a team to be reckoned with.
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"We've got aspirations around being a team with sustainable success over a long period of time.
"I think we're heading in the right direction. If that second Brisbane team does happen, we'll be in a good position to keep on forging ahead."
One thing that's not up for speculation is the trajectory of Titans speedster AJ Brimson. Meninga named him as Origin-ready for 2020.
"I think he's real close. He's playing in the position he wants to play – fullback – and he's had a good off-season," he said.
"I know Kevvie (Maroons coach Kevin Walters) is really keen on him coming into Origin and being that No.14 versatile player that you can put in the halves, fullback, on the wing. I believe he can play No.9 too."