The Titans weren’t the only NRL club chasing Herman Ese’ese, but listen to the 26-year-old talk and you get the feeling he was always headed to the Gold Coast.
“There was a few other Clubs, but as soon as the Titans approached me – that’s the team I wanted to be a part of.
“It’s a young exciting team, with a lot of potential and I just want to be a part of that.”
Ese’ese has spent the last three seasons at the Newcastle Knights, with the 190cm 110kg forward to further bolster an exciting Titans middle.
“It’s good to finally be here and to be amongst the boys and to knuckle down in pre-season,” Ese’ese said.
“It’s been a smooth transition and all of the boys have been welcoming.”
Ese’ese played with Beau Fermor at the Knights, while he also lined up alongside Jarrod Wallace while the two were at the Broncos.
Another familiar face is Sam Lisone, with the two Auckland products playing plenty of junior football together.
“We played against each other and played juniors back at home, so it’s good to see him here,” Ese’ese said.
With Wallace, Lisone, Jaimin Jollife, Jai Whitbread, Moeaki Fotuaika and Tino Fa’asuamaleaui all battling for spots through the midde, Ese’ese says the healthy competition will be great for the Titans.
Comfortable at prop or lock, the Samoan international knows he needs a big pre-season to guarantee a starting spot but has backed Coach Justin Holbrook to get the best out of his game.
“Obviously (starting at lock) is my goal but I don’t mind playing either position,” Ese’ese said.
“I do like playing lock because you get a lot more ball in your hands and get to play more footy, which is the type of player that I am.
”I’m ready to further my game.
“I believe I can do it and Justin is definitely the coach I can do it under.
“I just want to get better and I know Justin will do that.”
Ese’ese said he had mixed emotions when playing the against the Titans in the final round of the 2020 season, with the Gold Coast beating the Knights 36 points to 6.
"Obviously when we played against them in the last game I was pretty disappointed that we lost but also at the same time I was excited because of the potential of the team."