Titans prop Jarrod Wallace says new Gold Coast centre Kallum Watkins is primed to hit the ground running when the English Test centre makes his anticipated NRL debut for the Titans on Saturday.
Watkins arrived on the Gold Coast nearly a month ago, but has been restricted to training duties while the club awaited clearance on his visa to play as a professional in Australia.
That clearance arrived on Tuesday morning, and Titans senior coach Craig Hodges had no hesitation rushing the former Leeds Rhinos captain straight into the team to take on the Broncos in the Queensland Derby on Saturday afternoon.
Watkins looked ultra-impressive at a high-intensity training session on Wednesday, working hard on building his right-side combinations in a reshuffled Titans team.
But Wallace said Watkins’ Titans teammates were in no doubt about the 25-Test veteran’s ability to make an immediate impact in the NRL with the Gold Coast.
"Pretty much from his first meeting he put his hand up and had his opinion on what he could do, right from the start,” Wallace said.
“He's not holding back at all. He's here to do a job, and I'm excited to see him in our team.
“I think he'll bring a lot to our right edge, and I'm looking forward to seeing how he goes.
“It's exciting when you see someone come in with confidence and want to help us change.
“I'm excited to see what he can do with the ball in hand.”
Wallace said Watkins had made a seamless transition to life as a Titan since his mid-season transfer from Leeds, including getting up to speed with Aussie humour.
“He's been good,” Wallace said.
“I didn't class him as a new recruit, because he's been here for a month.
“I had to check with him in the ice-bath the other day when he was going to play, because he's been here for a month and just been getting towelled up on the field. I felt sorry for him.
“He'll be very excited, and there is no bigger test than the Broncos here at Cbus.
“It's exciting for him and his family. He gets an opportunity to play over here and I think he'll bring some seniority to our side.
“He's played a lot of senior footy and he'll bring some experience to our right side.
“He was straight into it from the get-go and he showed his experience.”