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Hasler ready to experience first local derby

Titans coach Des Hasler is full of excitement for his first Macca's Local Derby when the Gold Coast travel up the M1 to face Brisbane on Sunday afternoon. 

What is expected to make the occasion even more special is a strong crowd anticipated at Suncorp Stadium again after over 42,000 packed in to watch the Titans upset their 'big brother' in last year's clash at this very venue.

Despite Hasler's side being the outsiders given the increasing number of injuries on the sidelines, the Gold Coast coach knows the extra motivation rivalries like this one give to teams.

"Local derbies have always got a way of bringing out the best of sides," he said.

"[The Broncos] are a quality side. They’ve rebuilt really well.

"Kevie has them playing an attacking style of footy so we’ll need to be wary of that and counteract their threats right across the park.

"I imagine if the weather holds, they’re talking of a crowd of more than 40,000 which always makes a good spectacle.

"Both sides will lift for that and it’s pretty important week being Indigenous Round."

In what is a special week across the game celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island culture, heritage and history; the matchup will be extra important for Alofiana Khan-Pereira, with his mum Sylvia Khan designing the Coast's 2024 Indigenous Round jersey which recognises him and his story, alongside Jaime Chapman who is also a proud Indigenous woman.

"It’s a great initiative brought into the NRL and right across all the communities involved in the competition with a continued aim of inclusiveness," Hasler said.

"For us at the Titans, it’s probably even more special because the jersey is designed by Lofi’s mother who has done a beautiful job.

"It encompasses the story of two highly thought of individuals in both Lofi and Jaime Chapman with the NRLW side will also wear this jersey for their Indigenous Round. 

"It tells their stories especially through their totems, so it’s a pretty special week."

Also making the week even more noteworthy is the rewarding phone call Hasler got to make on Tuesday, informing Tony Francis he will make his NRL debut.

'It means the world to me': Francis excited for NRL debut

The 21-year-old will become Titan #191 when he runs out on Sunday afternoon.

"There’s nothing more special than being involved with a players’ debut," he said.

Tony has worked really hard to get there and it’ll be a tremendous moment for Tony and his family."

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.