A tight-knit playing group and a brutal pre-season under new coach Justin Holbrook will lift the Gold Coast out of the NRL doldrums, according to Titans rookie Tanah Boyd.
Boyd, who became Titan No.150 on the weekend when he made his NRL debut against the Knights, is part of the new wave of local talent emerging on the Gold Coast that the Club is looking to carry it forward to a bright future.
Boyd, Darius Farmer, Treymain Spry and Juwan Compain are among the local products who will be looking to push past some established stars to become NRL regulars in 2020, joining fellow locals like Jai Arrow, Moeaki Fotuaika and AJ Brimson in the Titans’ top squad.
While rumours flared over the weekend that the Gold Coast could be in danger if the NRL were to ever rationalise the competition or relocate teams, Boyd – one of many Gold Coast juniors currently in the NRL system – said rugby league could not afford to walk out on the region.
He said it was the duty of the playing group to deliver a successful team to inspire the next generation of Titans, and remove any doubts about the Gold Coast’s place in a national competition.
“That is what we need on the Gold Coast,” Boyd said. “We have such a strong base here, and we need those young kids to be looking up to us, and we need to give it back to them, and set a platform for them.
“Hopefully we can do that.”
Boyd said a pre-season “reality check” under Holbrook would reset the Titans and get the club back on track.
“I am sure that Justin has his ways, and he is going to come in and put a pretty big impact on us,” he said.
“It is definitely going to be a tough pre-season. But I think that is what we need – a bit of a reality check, sort of thing.
“Everyone is going to be competitive, and that is what we need in the group. Everyone is going to be fighting for spots. It is going to be good, and definitely a tough pre-season.”
Boyd, who joined the Titans in a mid-season transfer from the Broncos, said the playing group shared a solid bond that would produce results next season.
“Down here is a bit more relaxed. We kind of enjoy each other’s company a bit more,” he said. “Although we are not getting the results on the field, at training and everything throughout the week we are really positive.
“We find small improvements, and I think that is a real positive moving into next year.
“We are finding positives each week, we’re just not getting results on the weekend, which is a shame. Hopefully next year we can fix that up.”