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Coach's last word: Opportunity beckons for future Titans

Excitement levels are rapidly rising with only a few hours to go until the next generation of Gold Coast Titans light up Cbus Super Stadium.

As 14 fresh new faces prepare to don the blue and gold for the first time, their opportunity beckons to put their pre-season work to the test and impress Justin Holbrook ahead of Round 1 in just under three weeks' time.

There is plenty to play for tonight; some are fighting for spots in the top 17, others are wanting to prove they're deserving of one of the remaining development contracts... all in all, it's a prime occasion to feature on the big stage, no matter the circumstance.

It's also a fantastic chance for Titans members and fans to see what talent is waiting in the wings, wanting to proudly represent the Gold Coast when their time comes.

"It’s a great opportunity in the first trial always to give the guys a game that have trained in the pre-season with us," Holbrook said.

"We’ve obviously got a number of guys who won’t play, but it’s a great opportunity for those who are playing. These guys have trained with us since November and it’s great to be able to give them a game tonight.

"Coaches and players get sick of pre-season training and training vision, so now we get to run out and play and review games which is great instead of just training.

"All I want to get out of it is to see these guys get an opportunity to play. I’m not too worried about the score. I just want to see how they go and give them the best chance.

"There’s a few guys that are in the mix for Round 1 and that’s probably what it is.

"Our main trial will be next week obviously, but we’re going to have a lot of guys vying for a couple of spots, in particular the bench spots, so they need to do their best over the next two weeks to force their way in the side for Round 1."

'I'm not too worried about the score' - Holbrook

It could be said these rookies are being thrown into a cauldron - tasked with matching it with a near full-strength Broncos outfit, but the Titans head coach is glad Brisbane are coming down the road fully-loaded, as it's a perfect test for a tough hit-out to see how his youngsters tackle the experience. 

"Obviously they’ve got a couple of guys missing, but the Broncs [are pretty strong]," Holbrook said.

"We’ve got 13 or so not playing but we’ve also got plenty that are and we’ve got some great depth.

"I’m glad that we’re going to get a good hit out, that’s for sure. The last thing I want is to win 50-0 and then everyone says... 'pick me, and how can I leave you out now'.

"I definitely want a hard hit out and we’re going to get that, and that’s what I’m looking for."

Two familiar surnames will also take centre stage tonight; but this time being the next generation of the two rugby league families.

Young up-and-comers Klese Haas and Iszac Fa'asuamaleaui.
Young up-and-comers Klese Haas and Iszac Fa'asuamaleaui.

Iszac Fa'asuamaleaui is an exceptional young talent coming through the pathways system and has been likened to his older brother, but whilst Holbrook sees similarities in the two, he doesn't want everyone to expect Tino 2.0 from the 20-year-old.

"He’s an unbelievable trainer and exactly like Tino in that regard, but he hasn’t played a lot of rugby league. I think he’s played about 10 games over the last three to four years now. For him, it’s just going to be a slow development phase," Holbrook said.

"I don’t want to anyone to expect another Tino running out tonight. He's only played a couple of games over a few years. For him, he’s just got to have a big development year and it’s good to give him a game.

"He won’t play a lot for us tonight, but it’ll just be good to get him out for us."

The same goes for Klese Haas - young brother to Broncos enforcer Payne.

The 19-year-old has caught the attention of Titans through his excitement and application during the pre-season, working hard for his selection for tonight's clash. But he is also a different player to style of footy typically seen by the Haas everyone has come to know.

"He has a great worth ethic, Klese, and is really excited to get a run tonight," Holbrook said.

"That’s what excites me, just giving these guys an opportunity to play after a really good pre-season.

"Klese is different to Payne. Payne obviously plays in the middle and can play 80 minutes, but Klese is more an edge back-rower who can possibly play centre, so he’s not the same style player, but he’s worked really hard and it’s good to get him into the game.

"He's got some footwork and some skill, so a bit different to Payne, but he's a guy that’s worked really well and it’s great he’s going to get an opportunity for us."

Tom Weaver is one of the emerging Titans in action tonight.
Tom Weaver is one of the emerging Titans in action tonight.

It can't be disputed how much an opportunity tonight's clash against the Broncos is for the emerging Titans and it'll be a great chance to see the talent coming through the system, ready to pull on the jersey when the calling comes.

Tickets are still available to see Coast's hottest new talent in action.
Click here to secure your seat now or purchase at the gate.

For those who can't make it to Cbus, watch live on Fox League and Kayo.

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.