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'No D-word policy': Proctor's firm stance to new recruits

Regardless of whether Kevin Proctor has the 'c' next to his name or not this season, his ambition to keep being a leader has not wavered.

"It's just a title to me," Proctor said.

"It's obviously a massive privilege, but it doesn't change what I do on and off the field."

'They push you to be a better player' - Proctor

An enforcer on the Gold Coast since 2017, the 273-game statesman has been instrumental this pre-season in ensuring the club's new recruits - young and experienced - buy-in to the humble standards that has allowed for such a tight-knit culture among the playing group.

"[The main thing is] to not think you're better than anyone else," Proctor said.

"Even if you've got the 'c' next to your name, you don't look down on some of the guys who have a train and trial or if your pay packet is bigger than these guys.

"No one is better than anyone else here and we try and instil that into the young guys coming through, especially the new guys from different clubs.

"It's a good culture here and I suppose the better you buy in, the better the team gels and gets along together.

"No one is better than anyone else and there's a no d-word policy here.

"That's pretty much what we say to all the new guys and the young guys coming through."

Captaincy or not, Proctor wants to remain a senior leader at the club.
Captaincy or not, Proctor wants to remain a senior leader at the club.

Entering his 15th NRL season, the veteran forward has been inspired by the next generation of talent running around at Parkwood, pushing him to constantly be a better player given the immense depth of the Titans roster this season.

"It makes me feel old, but it also makes me feel young again," the 32-year-old said.

"They're always full of energy and testing you, and they keep you on your toes as well.

"You always try and do the right thing around them.

"It makes you a better player as well with your routine. You don't want to be slacking off and take shortcuts around them.

"I don't do that anyway, but they push you to be a better player and there's a lot of healthy competition out there at the moment as well.

"It's good for the squad and good for the club as well.

Proctor training hard ahead of his 15th NRL season.
Proctor training hard ahead of his 15th NRL season.

With Proctor's body feeling good and no niggles troubling him this pre-season, he hinted an All Stars call-up may be on the cards for the upcoming clash in early February.

"There's been a few phone calls going around at the moment, but I won't leak that information," Proctor said to Gold Coast media on Thursday.

"You'll just have to find out yourselves on your social media."

As a proud Maori who has played in the All Stars clash on three occasions, joining his 22 Test caps for New Zealand, any opportunity to represent his heritage is special for the back-rower.

"My first one was in 2008 and that was against Preston Campbell. It's been a long time for me, but it's a special game," Proctor said.

"Whenever I get to put on a Maori jersey, it's not just representing your country, but you represent your culture as well.

“My mum and dad are from different tribes, so you get to represent both tribes.

“It's unreal. You feel like you're back in New Zealand. It's a good experience and I love being a part of it.”

Proctor is a proud Maori, representing his heritage in the All Stars clash in 2008, 2019 and 2020.
Proctor is a proud Maori, representing his heritage in the All Stars clash in 2008, 2019 and 2020.

The annual clash may see both Titans edge forwards go head-to-head with David Fifita a red-hot chance to represent the Indigenous All Stars, to which Proctor would relish.

“I think we've done it before. I think we played against each other in Melbourne, but I hope [we get the chance to face off] because I'll take his head off," Proctor joked.

Anticipation is building for the announcement of the upcoming All Stars squads with several key Titans players in the mix to represent their culture in the upcoming clash in Sydney on Saturday, February 12.

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Acknowledgement of Country

Gold Coast Titans proudly acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we are situated, the Kombumerri families of the Yugambeh Language Region. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continuing connections to the lands, waters and their extended communities throughout South East Queensland.