Titans chase Storm NRL centre Webster - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Titans chase Storm NRL centre Webster

By Laine Clark 28/06/2006 04:02:14 PM Comments (0)

NRL newcomer the Gold Coast Titans will play the family card in a bid to lure Melbourne centre Jake Webster away from a lucrative Cronulla offer.

After announcing a three-year deal with emerging St George Illawarra forward Michael Henderson, Gold Coast football manager Scott Sattler's thoughts quickly turned to nailing down the signature of the in-demand Webster.

Sattler hoped the Kiwi international's Brisbane family connections would prove the difference in a tug-of-war with the Sharks.

"Being a Brisbane boy is something we have to use to our advantage," Sattler said.

"We have had the opportunity to bring players back who have family here in Queensland before like Scott Prince, Luke O'Dwyer and Anthony Laffranchi.

"It's been helpful for us in the past so obviously it's been a successful recipe for us at the moment."

Webster, 22, is likely to decide his future by the end of the week after being given permission to negotiate with rival clubs.

He has received written expressions of interest from Cronulla and the Titans but the Gold Coast franchise appear to have the inside running after Webster's manager visited the tourist strip last weekend.

The Titans have made no secret that they want to snap Webster up on a three-year deal.

"Centre is a very big position for us," Sattler said.

"We've got to identify two other current NRL centres to complement the team."

Other off-contract players linked to the Titans are Bulldogs forward Nate Myles and North Queensland's shock Origin III selection Josh Hannay.

Meanwhile, Sattler said Henderson's arrival ensured the Titans had a "respectable" forward pack when it makes its 2007 NRL debut.

Henderson joins the likes of fellow Dragons prop Luke Bailey, Penrith's Frank Puletua, Wests Tigers premiership forward Anthony Laffranchi and former Maroons backrower Brad Meyers.

"Your front row speaks volumes about how you are going to go and when we have the likes of Bailey, Henderson and Frank Puletua - straight away you've got a respectable forward pack," Sattler said.

"At least we do know that we have a forward pack that can lay a very good platform for our clever halves - Preston Campbell and Scott Prince."

Henderson said the Titans deal gave him a chance to "establish myself as a footballer".

The 21-year-old has played a total of 35 games for the Dragons since his 2003 NRL debut.

Henderson now joins the likes of Bailey, Shaun Timmins, Trent Barrett and Colin Best on their way out of the Dragons at the end of the season.

The exodus is expected to follow with many Dragons off contract at the end of 2006.

Henderson admitted this season was the best chance the Dragons had of winning a premiership title.

"We understand that there is going to be some good players leaving the place - if we are going to win it, this is the year to do it," he said.

"Next year we will be rebuilding with a few more younger fellas - definitely this year is the one to do it.

"With Baz (Barrett) and a few other blokes leaving as well, we want to finish with a big bang."

Henderson becomes the 16th player to sign with the Titans.

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