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Smith-Shields eager to repay brother's faith upon Gold Coast opportunity

They say change is as good as a holiday... but new recruit Harley Smith-Shields has vowed his Gold Coast move is no vacation.

Relishing the opportunity to shift to the Titans on a two-year deal after having previously called Canberra home his entire life, the 23-year-old has his eyes set on using his relocation to get his fledgling career back on track after a devastating ACL injury sidelined the strike centre straight after being crowned the Raiders' Rookie of the Year in 2021.

"I think the change is going to be good," Smith-Shields told after inking his new deal.

"It was always going to be tough having to leave home, especially with my family and things like that, but when I got the call from here and I knew Des (Hasler) was here and the amount of talent that's here... it was a pretty good decision from me.

"I've also got a little bit of family up here as well and my brother that I can stay with, so I think it's going to be good."

'The change is going to be good': Smith-Shields' first interview as a Titan

Admitting he'll likely crash on his older sibling's couch for the first few weeks as a Gold Coast newcomer, it's a timely move for the 15-game NRL young gun who gets to reunite with the very person who he shares a special bond with... and the same piece of muscle.

Needing to find someone with a healthy hamstring for his knee graft - Jese answered the calling.

"My brother really helped me out in 2022 when I hurt my knee, donating a bit of his hamstring to help fix my ACL, so having him here for me is a big support," Smith-Shields said.

"It's always a funny story to tell. No one really understands it until you dive down into it. He didn't even really understand it until I started asking him for his hamstring... but he just said yes straight away.

"I think I owe him one now, so I've got a point to prove."

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Adding to the familiarity of Smith-Shields' move is Titans assistant Brett White, who coached the Raiders junior at Under 20s level during his previous tenure as a Canberra assistant.

"Whitey has been huge for my development," he said.

"He pulled me out of SG Ball when I was fairly young to join his 20s team. He coached our Raiders 20s team back then and started learning from him right away.

"Obviously he stepped into first grade at a similar time that I did. He has great defensive principles and and I'm keen to start learning off him again.

"It's funny how the world works... he called me the other day before I came up here to give me the rundown on things and where they're at.

"I think he's excited and so am I."

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.