Young prop forward Jai Whitbread has always had a connection with the Gold Coast where his father Greg played 52 first grade games from 1988 across four seasons with the Giants and Seagulls, but the 20-year old is keen make a name for himself.
A member of the Titans High Performance Academy in 2014 the South Tweed junior left to join the Brisbane Broncos NYC side where he played 44 games during 2016/17.
Whitbread returned home in 2018 to join the Gold Coast Titans NRL squad but more importantly to be back with his family and friends. After a solid pre-season under new head coach Garth Brennan, Jai started the season with the Burleigh Bears in the Intrust Super Cup but thinks the move back home was paying dividends to his game.
"I've loved it, it's helped me enjoy my footy a lot more as well, and I've said it to a few people I don't think I've enjoyed footy this much for a while," Whitbread said
"Definitely being home around mates and around family has had a big impact I think on my performances on the field, it's a great place we live and I love it."
After his first full season in the NRL, Whitbread is ready to relax and enjoy some down time with his family and friends but isn't planning any trips away.
"I will probably just relax for a couple of weeks and then get back into training but I havn't planned any away trips because I'm still at uni."
Whitbread is planning one small trip away during the off-season to Royal Randwick.
"I'm hoping to be down at the Everest Stakes watching Vega Magic win the Everest."