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Leading the charge: Ireland campaign fires up Jolliffe for big new season ahead

Jaimin Jolliffe has returned hungry with one big goal in mind after representing Ireland at the Rugby League World Cup.

He intends to be an enforcer for the Gold Coast forward pack in 2023, after playing huge minutes and helping lead the charge for the Wolfhounds in their campaign in the United Kingdom.

The impressive front rower has also been motivated by the playing group's heavy focus on defence.

"I feel like I was a leader for the forward pack in that Irish team having the experience in the NRL; so for me, I want to try and get in that starting role and just be that enforcer, that really strong, rock-solid forward and get us on the front foot defensively," Jolliffe said.

"That's our goal as a club. We want to be one of the best defensive teams and I think the biggest lessons I took away (from the World Cup) were on the defensive side."

'I want to be an enforcer': Jolliffe

Under the guise of new 'minister of defence' Brett White alongside Justin Holbrook, the 26-year-old's first session back was nothing but tough in order to ensure the opposition are ineffective in the new season.

"Today was a good session with a lot of line speed. We as a team were quite passive last year, so we did lot of line speed, control in the rock, controlling the tackle, winning our tackles and timing out of the ruck," Jolliffe said.

"There's a lot that goes into defence and we're working on all of it. A majority of our field sessions has been around defence, so we're taking it really seriously this year and having Whitey on board has been really good for us.

"He's got a great understanding in that area so that's a big goal this year and one of our biggest area for improvement."

One of a number of middle forwards competing for limited spots in the line-up, Jolliffe is enjoying the shootout for the final 17 with one of 2022's most consistent prop's ready to put the hard work in to ensure he's on the plane to Sydney come Round 1.

"Competition is always healthy, especially around training," he said.

"We're a really close, tight knit group, but all jerseys are up for grabs and that's only going to make us better.

"I'm happy to work hard and try and earn my spot in the team just like anyone else and that's through training, through hard work and effort the details in training."

Jaimin Jolliffe was among the leaders in his first official training session back at Parkwood. Photo: Gold Coast Titans
Jaimin Jolliffe was among the leaders in his first official training session back at Parkwood. Photo: Gold Coast Titans

Whilst exciting to be back for his first official session at Parkwood, it was a sad day among at the club with the passing of club stalwart Paul Broughton OAM, to which the forward honoured on behalf of the Titans playing group.

"I want to send my condolences to the family. He was a big part of our Titans club and he that's why the [player of the year] medal is named after him," Jolliffe said.

"He's a big name in rugby league so it is definitely sad news across the game.

"We'll be looking to honour him I'd say next year, but I think we can do that as well through our performance.

"He's a passionate Titans man and if we can go out there and have a really good season in his name, I think that would go a long way."

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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.