17/04/2024

Brianna Clark in action at training. Photo: gctitans.com.au

The Titans bring a mixture of youth and experience into their maiden NRLW squad, but will it be enough to mix it with the established squads?

The Gold Coast Titans are set to join the NRLW Competition for the first time this season and are ready to shake up the competition from the outset.

The Titans have put emphasis on recruiting young local talent and ensuring they are supported by a strong core group of experienced players. With a balanced line up the Titans are looking to make a mark early and are aiming to go straight to for a premiership. 

Last season:

Despite not being part of the last season of the NRLW competition, their are multiple members of their squad that have played in the competition and at elite levels of the sport.

Georgia Hale comes in as one of the experienced members of the group. In her last season with the Warriors she made 116 tackles at 116% efficiency and averaged 6.7 hit ups.

In the 2021 QRLW season Karina Brown had four tries and three try assists in her eight appearances, and will provide strong support in attack for the Titans. Brown also had a strong 136 passing receipts and averaging 110 running metres.

Lauren Dam had a strong QRLW season with seven tries from seven appearances. Dam also had 31 tackle breaks in her attack. To support her strong attack, Dam also made 99 tackles at 84.9%.

Squad changes:

Ins:

Karina Brown (Warriors), Zara Canfield (Broncos), Brianna Clark (Warriors), Jessika Elliston (Broncos), Tazmin Gray (Warriors), Georgia Hale (Warriors), Steph Hancock (Dragons), Shannon Mato (Broncos), Evania Pelite (Warriors), Shaniah Power (Warriors), Crystal Tamarua (Warriors), Brittany Breayley-Nati, Kimiora Breayley-Nati, Destiny Brill, Lauren Dam, Jetaya Faifua, Grace Griffin, Karli Hansen, Cobie-Jane Morgan, April Ngatupuna, Jasmine Peters, Rona Peters, Tiana Raftstrand-Smith.

Outs:

Nil

Track watch: 

Zara Canfield has come to the Titans from the Brisbane Broncos with hopes of making her way into the best 17. The 21-year-old was in the Broncos squad for the previous two seasons but was unable to make her way into the side. Determined to not let this opportunity get away from her she is using her experience with the Broncos to push herself harder than ever before. 

Steph Hancock has come out of retirement to boost the sides leadership stock. She has captained the national team and can provide a huge boost of experience. Hancock will be focusing on getting back to match fitness before the first game of the season, where she will feature in the leadership group.

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Burning Questions: Can the Titans youngsters steer the team?

What to expect: 

With some big names in women’s rugby as part of the inaugural squad the Titans will be able to match the already established squads.

Their more experienced recruits have come from the Warriors and Broncos sides bringing knowledge and expertise to the squad.

They are backed up by some of the bigger names from New Zealand to support the younger players coming from the local programs. It is a strong mix that will be looking to match the best teams from the beginning. 

With the injection of youth into the side, look for a high speed attacking game from the Titans. They have strong recruits in attack, including the former touch football player Grace Griffin who had a strong season in QRLW in 2021.

It’s a big year for:

Tazmin Gray is one of the marquee signings for the Titans, and the Gold Coast local will be looking to bring instant success to her hometown.

The 26-year-old has played in the NRLW competition already and brings finals experience after winning the premiership with the Brisbane Broncos in 2019.

After winning the Nellie Doherty Player of the Match in the last State of Origin, she will be looking to raise the level again and help the Titans younger players. 

Being part of the Leadership group of a brand new playing group, gives Gray the opportunity to develop her place as a great of the game by cultivating a strong culture within the new club.

Predicted round one lineup:

The Titans forward pack will posses some real bite in their first season with the likes of Georgia Hale, Tazmin Gray and Crystal Tamarua some of the best in the competition.

The Titans also posses some great flexibility, expect some players to shuffle into different positions as the season progresses.

Ladder range: 

3rd-4th

The Titans will be coming out with a point to prove, especially in the match up against their rivals the Brisbane Broncos. If they leverage the experienced players they have recruited from other teams they will take a few wins off the more experienced of the competition. 

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