It's been a tedious wait since the NRLW season was heartbreakingly postponed in September, but there's good news on the horizon for the Gold Coast Titans.
After riding a tumultuous emotional rollercoaster that included the excitement and jubilation of joining the fledgling competition before being thwarted by multiple false starts due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the wait is finally over for the club's newest recruits who are set to return to pre-season training early next week.
Adhering to strict protocols which has prevented the squad from training as group until January 10, Titans NRLW coach Jamie Feeney said it has been a lengthy hiatus for everyone involved.
"It has been a long wait for both the players and for our staff," the experienced rugby league coach said.
"Being out on the field and doing what we do fills a void that is hard to fill during the off-season period and ours has been a very long off-season.
"I get goosebumps just thinking about getting back out there with the squad and preparing once again."
But with a return to the training paddock slated for Monday, one of the most exciting young prospects brimming with exuberance to get into the swing of things is Kiwi playmaker Karli Hansen, who can't wait to don the Titans colours and fresh new look.
“After a few setbacks and the uncertainty with the season going ahead in 2021, I know not only myself, but the wider playing group is thrilled to hear the season is a go," Hansen said.
"I am especially excited to play in the first game of women’s footy for the year and to be part of the new generation of Titans showcasing the new logo.
“It's sick as, so I can’t wait to play in our new kit."
Match: Dragons v Titans
Round 1 -
Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
- Nine Network
Another star looking forward to getting back in the grind is experienced forward Georgia Hale, who relocated from New Zealand to the Coast in early 2021 to play QRLW, before bolstering the Titans' lineup as a marquee signing mid-last year.
“I want to put my best foot forward to be competing for a spot to wear the Titans strip week-in, week-out," the Kiwi Ferns International said.
"I’m looking to train hard, connect with a great group of people and then enjoy the footy on the field when the time comes."
With the Titans set to host the Queensland derby against the Broncos in their first ever NRLW home game on Saturday, March 19 (the first game of the Titans double header), the former Warriors captain is hoping to run out to a jam-packed Cbus Super Stadium against the defending premiers and home-state rivals.
Match: Titans v Broncos
Round 4 -
Venue: Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast
“I’m most excited to play the Broncos. Not only is playing against the current best a challenge that we are up for, but to do it on the home turf will be a bonus," Hale said.
"I never really understood the whole State of Origin rivalry until I touched down in Australia, and it's now clearly evident to see the staunch encounters the different Queensland cities have with one another.
"I’m just pumped to get to be a part of it when that time comes and hopefully the Gold Coast girls get up on the day.”