Tom Kingston had waited a long time to make his NRL debut at age 26. Now he has decided his career will record just six Titans matches after he made the decision to pursue his goals in the Army.
The popular back-rower called ‘TK’ has made the tough call on his career, relinquishing a one-year contract and changing his uniform from blue, white and yellow to khaki.
He has been training with the squad this week to keep up his fitness levels but next week he leaves for new lifestyle and profession after earlier this year looking to join the air forces before belatedly being offered a one-year deal.
He will leave with no regrets after this season showing he was not out of place in the NRL, playing a part in three greats wins in the second half of the season – against Newcastle and grand finalists South Sydney and Canterbury – in his six appearances.
“I sat down when the season finished and thought hard about whether I wanted to try to cement a position in the NRL or pursue the things I want to accomplish in the army, which is more a long-term goal I’d been considering for a while,” Kingston said.
“An opportunity came along with the army which appealed to me so I made the tough decision to go that way now rather than putting it back.
“I was really happy to make my NRL debut this year and tick that off my bucket list. I will always be grateful the Titans gave me that opportunity.
“I’ve loved playing rugby league but I’m happy with the decision I’ve made.”
That means that for Kingston, a Tweed Heads Seagulls junior who had to give up Queensland Residents selection to make his debut against the Rabbitohs, had as his last match the golden point victory against the Bulldogs in the final round at CBus Super Stadium. He shared a farewell with Mark Minichiello, Cody Nelson and Brad Takairangi, on a day that was also celebrated as the fans’ farewell for the injured Ashley Harrison and Luke Bailey.
When the squad resumed for training this season is represented a significant change in personnel with Kingston, Nelson and Takairangi (Parramatta), Bailey and Harrison (retired), Minichiello and Steve Michaels (Hull), Albert Kelly and Maurice Blair (Hull KR), Sam Irwin (Featherstone Rovers), Beau Henry (Dragons) and Siuatonga Likiliki.