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'We’re still building': Foran reveals incredible insight into his damaging Fifita combo

Preparing to make his mark on the eve of his Origin recall, David Fifita's form revival has been a revelation for the Titans this season.

Arriving on the Gold Coast in 2021; the powerhouse forward had an ultra impressive first season in his new colours, topping the NRL's try-scoring tally for forwards with 17 four-pointers, as well as making the most tackle breaks in the NRL with 155 and led the way for line-breaks and offloads within the club.

Battling injury in 2022 with a troublesome MCL that sidelined the Queensland star for seven games, this year has seen the 23-year-old bounce back to be of the most devastating back-rowers in the competition with his combination with Kieran Foran proving a genius masterstroke on the Titans' left hand edge.

But as fate would have it, it was only misfortune that put the lethal pairing together with the experienced five-eighth revealing coach Justin Holbrook was forced to take a calculated punt on the eve of the season opener that's ultimately been a huge winner... especially with the marry up only in its infancy.

"We didn’t train together all pre-season," Foran told the Fox League podcast.

"Really unfortunately, Beau Fermor did his ACL the week leading into Round 1 which was a huge devastating blow for us because Beau had been our best trainer through the pre-season and was in for a massive year.

"Him and I had struck up an awesome combination on that left hand side. We’d trained together for four months building that combination and then all of a sudden he went down a few days out from Round 1.

"[In response to Beau's injury] Justin just said… you know what, Dave enjoys playing on the left so let’s put him there and give it a go.

"So we didn’t train together heading into Round 1 and we’re still building that combination, but it’s been amazing and surprising at the same time how well we’ve picked up each other’s games."

With Fifita heaping praise on the 272-game veteran for his continual help and guidance in his bounce back to form, it's an accolade Foran is uncomfortable in accepting, given the immense work the Tongan International has put into himself over the off-season.

"I really don’t like taking credit for the performances that Dave has put in this season. A lot of has come down to him and the work our coaching staff have put into him," he said.

"He deserves a lot of that credit himself. He was the one that sacrificed a lot in the pre-season, got himself in the best physical shape and did the work and now he’s reaping the rewards for it and all the credit should go to him.

"For a bloke like myself, I’ve just tried to ride David as hard as I can with those little effort areas in the game. I'm someone who can continually talk to him through a game of footy and I don’t know if he’s had that in the past.

"He’s got it all. He’s got the X factor and can do things that other players can’t, but what we’re seeing from David this year is those effort areas that he’s really bought into this year and it’s something he’s doing on a consistent basis."

'I want that feeling back': Fifita

But helping young stars like Fifita return to 'career-best' form was a big reason why the 32-year-old opted to join the Titans, continuing his mentoring journey with the stable of up-and-coming halves and exciting talent the Gold Coast possess in their roster.

"One of the greatest experiences coming up here is the amount of youth I'm surrounded by," Foran said.

"There's a lot of exciting up-and-coming talent in the side and one of the things that really drew me to coming up here was being a part of their development and helping them along the way.

"From the moment I’ve arrived at the club, I’ve taken on that role and have really enjoyed working with them and mentoring the young halves and everyone in the squad.

"I’ve got a lot of experience behind me and been in the game a long time, so any tips and knowledge that I can pass on that can fast-track their development in the game, I’m really keen to do."

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.