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De Groot eager to impress Hasler in No. 1 jersey

Jaylan De Groot knows all about the pre-season trials and the opportunity it can provide - especially after his 2022 heroics against the Broncos.

Famously dubbed the 'shin-kicker' by Fox League's Andrew Voss, the 20-year-old set up a freakish try all thanks to a clever cover-up of what was set to be an error that was quickly whisked into brilliance in his first ever NRL experience.

Only getting limited minutes in last season's trial, the Cudgen Hornets junior is back again for this Sunday's clash against the Dolphins and is eager to take the opportunity to wear the No. 1 jersey with both hands in a bid to impress new coach Des Hasler.

"It's very special," De Groot said.

"Us young boys don't really get an opportunity to put that jersey on, so when we do, we know we're going to cherish it and give it our best when we go out there.

"It's been a rough pre-season. It's been long and it's been intense, but I think everyone's just pretty happy for footy to be around.

"I'm pretty stoked to get back into trial footy and everyone's pretty excited for it."

Although predominately a fullback having grown up idolising players such as Billy Slater, Greg Inglis and Clint Gutherson, De Groot hasn't closed the door on any position in the back five if that gives him the opportunity to progress to first grade.

"I'd be pretty stoked to play anywhere... fullback, centre or wing; any of those I'd be wrapped to play," he said.

And whilst the Future Titans alum knows he is a rough outsider to win a spot in Des Hasler's top 17 for Round 1 after only officially joining the development roster in 2024, he knows anything is possible if he capitalises on this weekend's chance.

"It's my third pre-season now so I've got comfortable in knowing what it takes at the top level," De Groot said.

"If I was to get any opportunity to play NRL (after this trial), I'd definitely take it with two hands."

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.