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Gold Coast 'Godfather' made Lisone offer he couldn't refuse

Sam Lisone had a simple reason why he joined the Gold Coast Titans after one chat with coach Justin Holbrook.

"He made me an offer I couldn't refuse," Lisone told NRL.com.

When it was suggested his quote was a reference to a line from The Godfather, Lisone was quick to respond.

"I've watched it and I loved it…and Scarface," he grinned as he spoke of his passion for films of that genre.

Holbrook's "offer" did not have the sinister undertones of the quote in The Godfather as the former Warriors prop explained.

"I talked to Justin and straight away I knew where I stood. He sold me," Lisone said.

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"He told me exactly where he sees me in the team and I felt valued.

"Justin said he had been watching me since the under 20s and liked my key strengths and the way I play.

"It was pretty cool. He showed me where the club is heading and how I have what this team needs. I was a piece in the puzzle."

Lisone was contracted with the Warriors this year and said his move across the ditch was seamless.

" There was talk about me leaving and I wasn't thinking too much about it, and then I was gearing up to play a trial down in Palmerston North against the Storm and  I got a call from my manager Stan Martin that the Titans wanted to make me an offer," Lisone said.

"I liked what they were going to give me, went back to the Warrriors and they released me."

The 26-year-old is living in Broadbeach and said he missed his parents and sister back in Otara, a suburb of Auckland.

When he spoke to NRL.com he was wearing a custom-made shirt with the words 'family is everything' emblazoned on it with the pictures of four uncles and three friends that he grew up with in Otara, a tough suburb where he learned plenty

"In Otara you've got to fight to survive, man. Only the strong survive," Lisone grinned.

"You could go either way down there but I had good people around me. I went to school with heaps of mates who went down the wrong way, but that's all good. They are still my mates."

Lisone was in the the Warriors system since the age of 16 and "always wanted to be a footy player."

He had some good role models at the Warriors and none greater than Kiwi legend Ruben Wiki who also hails from Otara.

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"Rubes was someone I looked up to probably because he came from the same area. I love Rubes. I talked to him yesterday and we still keep in contact," Lisone said.

"Rubes got dealt some hard cards but the way he played it was brilliant. He was so resilient and he was a selfless person who put the team first, and that is still the case now where he works hard in the community."

Holbrook said recently Lisone would bring "a point of difference" that his team needed and a vital cog in the Titans' wheel with Ryan James out injured for the year [ https://www.nrl.com/news/2020/03/03/titans-face-tense-wait-on-boyd-brimson-for-raiders-clash/ ].  He was a whirlwind against the Broncos in the 28-22 trial win where he threw himself into his work with gusto.

"I've been gifted with a bit of leg speed and I like to bring energy when I play," Lisone said.

"I landed here on Tuesday and played Saturday so I quickly learned all the moves…and some of the players' names. It was crazy.

"My energy was burned just from nerves in my first game for the club.

"It is just really good to be here. The Gold Coast is a nice place and the boys have been really welcoming.

"It is all about footy. The boys do their work. It is not complicated and the players drive the sessions. Justin is open. He is a players' coach."