Old scrumbase reunited at Titans
The Gold Coast Titans have uncovered a combination 10 years in the making and it is one the club hopes will bring immediate success to the Glitter Strip after a lacklustre 2017 season.
Lock Jai Arrow and halfback Ash Taylor have been terrorising their opposition since 2007 when they first played together for the Queensland Schoolboys under-12s side.
A friendship blossomed on that tour, and six years later they reunited when Taylor joined Arrow in the Brisbane Broncos' under-20s side.
They roomed together in Taylor's first year at Brisbane, living in a house near the Broncos' training base at Red Hill.
Both had similar goals and dreamt of playing first grade - but because of the plethora of talent at the Broncos - the opportunities were limited.
It forced Taylor to depart the club at the end of 2015 to join the Titans, and he will be on the Gold Coast until at least the end of the 2021 season after re-signing with the club in October of this year.
Arrow has now joined him at the Titans after being stuck behind young Brisbane forwards Tevita Pangai Junior, Joe Ofahengaue and Herman Ese'ese in 2017, and it is a decision he hopes will result in regular first grade appearances
A Gold Coast junior, Arrow will now play for the city he has always called home, and he is proud to do it with someone who he shares such a strong bond with.
"All up I think I've known Ash since I was about 12 years old. I played under-12s Queensland Schoolboys with him. That'd probably be about 10 years ago now," Arrow told NRL.com
"I went on to live with Ash when he first moved to Brisbane straight after high school. I lived with him for about a year.
"The Broncos owned a house next to the club and they'd put three or four boys who had moved away from home into the house. I think they still do it. It was for boys who were fresh out of high school. We ended coming together in that house and got along really well.
"You had to live over 80 or 90 kilometres from home to get the allowance so it worked out well for us."
Arrow now lives down the road from the Titans' Parkwood training headquarters, and although he is still adjusting to life at his new club, he is happy to have the opportunity to prove himself and earn a starting jersey for Round 1.
"Hopefully I get the opportunity to run off Ash again this year, but I've still got a lot of work to do in the pre-season. If I play Round 1 then that's great, but I'm just taking it as it comes at the moment," he said.
"I'm trying to enjoy myself and get to know everyone currently as it's all pretty new to me here on the Gold Coast.
"In saying that, I'm looking forward to working with Ash again, especially when we get stuck into the skills sessions and get further into the pre-season."
The Titans will face the Raiders in Round 1 of the 2018 Telstra Premiership season.