Here is all you need to know about the Gold Coast Titans ahead of the 2022 Telstra Premiership season.
Something of a new beginning on the Gold Coast with playmakers Ash Taylor, Jamal Fogarty and Tyrone Peachey all out the door and youngster Toby Sexton handed control after just four NRL games. Did a good job to make the finals in 2021 and came within an ace of progressing to week two so there’s plenty to build on for Justin Holbrook.
Possible best 17
1. Jayden Campbell, 2. Philip Sami, 3. Patrick Herbert, 4. Brian Kelly, 5. Corey Thompson, 6. AJ Brimson, 7. Toby Sexton, 8. Jarrod Wallace, 9. Erin Clark, 10. Moeaki Fotuaika, 11. Kevin Proctor, 12. David Fifita, 13. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui, 14. Isaac Liu, 15. Jaimin Jolliffe, 16. Beau Fermor, 17. Will Smith.
Tino Fa'asuamaleaui: We're building something special here on the Coast
With nine seasons, 203 games and two premierships to his name, durable forward Isaac Liu is a sensational pick-up from the Roosters. Will Smith is also a handy addition as he can cover a number of positions and goes flat out the entire time he’s on the paddock. Ash Taylor has moved to the Warriors after a rollercoaster six years at the Titans which saw him play 114 games but never quite fulfil his potential while Jamal Fogarty has joined the Raiders. Toby Sexton and AJ Brimson are set to team up in the halves in what is potentially an electrifying combination.
Will Smith: Straight to training and straight into it
AJ Brimson underwent surgery on his jaw after he was collected by a stray boot from Latrell Mitchell in round 22 but he returned to the training track in November and will be primed for the pre-season trial games when Justin Holbrook will want to get a look at him in the halves. "AJ came back from the jaw injury raring to go. It was disappointing not to have him for the finals series but he has got a clean bill of health and he is looking forward to a really big pre-season,” said high performance manager Klint Hoare. Forward Joseph Vuna, who played two games off the interchange in 2021, is expected to be sidelined until August after suffering a knee injury playing for Tweed Heads in the Intrust Super Cup finals. Hoare said Tino Fa'asuamaleaui picked up an MCL injury through some wrestle contact and Jaimin Jolliffe had a slight hamstring issue but neither is expected to miss any trial games. "Both players will be spot on for trials and we will be targeting trial two against the Warriors," Hoare said.
Biggest question mark
Can the Titans find the consistency to become regular finalists after converting a ninth place finish in 2020 into a play-off berth in 2021, albeit for one week only as they were eliminated in a heartbreaker by the Roosters. Between 2011 and 2019 they had made the top eight just once while collecting two wooden spoons so a corner has certainly been turned but it’s time to play regular finals and start winning in September.
An up and down opening month for the Titans features a tough season-opener against the Eels at CommBank Stadium plus a trip to Canberra in round three, alternating with very winnable home games against the Warriors and Wests Tigers in rounds two and four.
Starting with the Parramatta return bout in round five, the Titans come up against four of last year's top six in a five-week period with the Eels (home), Sea Eagles (away), Cowboys (away), Panthers (home) and Roosters (in Mackay) throwing up a tricky patch leading into the rep period.
Make it count
The Titans have dodged repeat games against most of last season's heavyweights, meaning their draw outside of the above patch is not too threatening on paper. The club has two separate three-game bursts towards the end of the year in which they should be targeting three straight wins. Against the Broncos, Bulldogs and Raiders from rounds 18 to 20 then against the Dragons, Knights and Warriors in the final three weeks of the season.
NRL Fantasy: Titans 2022 prices
David Fifita: EDG, $800,000
Moeaki Fotuaika: MID, $613,000
Toby Sexton: HLF, $600,000
Tino Fa'asuamaleaui: MID, $583,000
Isaac Liu: MID, $565,000
Jayden Campbell: WFB, $550,000
Jarrod Wallace: MID, $500,000
Alexander Brimson: WFB/HLF, $500,000
Corey Thompson: WFB, $500,000
Greg Marzhew: WFB, $489,000
Brian Kelly: CTR, $476,000
Beau Fermor: EDG, $451,000
Kevin Proctor: EDG, $443,000
Jaimin Jolliffe: MID, $439,000
Erin Clark: HOK, $412,000
Phillip Sami: WFB, $407,000
Patrick Herbert: CTR, $391,000
Tanah Boyd: HLF/HOK, $370,000
Sam McIntyre: EDG, $348,000
Esan Marsters: CTR, $338,000
Paul Turner: HLF, $270,000
Sam Lisone: MID, $240,000
Will Smith: HLF/WFB, $240,000
Herman Ese'ese: MID, $240,000
Joseph Vuna: EDG, $240,000
Jojo Fifita: WFB, $220,000
Lofi Khan-Pereira: WFB, $220,000