Titans go harder after Myles, Champion - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Titans go harder after Myles, Champion

Wayne Heming 09/05/2011 05:34:16 PM Comments (0)

Gold Coast will escalate their campaign to sign established NRL stars Nate Myles and Beau Champion after pulling a lucrative contract offer to classy Dragons fullback Darius Boyd.

Titans boss Michael Searle took the Boyd deal off the table on Monday after an agreed deadline to accept their terms elapsed.

Searle had been keen to secure a quick answer from Boyd, who now seems certain to follow his coach and mentor Wayne Bennett to Newcastle next season.

"Darius was the last person we entered into negotiations with," said Searle who's already landed the biggest fish of the of year by signing boom centre Jamal Idris to a long-term deal.

"Because Darius was going to be a highly-paid player it was making it difficult for us to move forward and resolve (Titans) players like Luke Bailey and Preston Campbell and a couple of hookers as well.

"We needed to get closure on it so we know what our playing roster is going to look like by the end of May."

Searle said with Boyd out of the picture it made it "more achievable" to secure Roosters prop Myles and Storm centre Champion, and to be more forceful in negotiations with some other players who had three weeks to secure their futures with the club.

With Anthony Laffranchi heading overseas, hooker Nathan Friend going to the Warriors and veteran forward Brad Meyers announcing his immediate retirement on Monday the Titans have some cash to splash around.

Searle said the club hoped to resolve their playing roster within the next 14 days, including signing Queensland Origin forward Myles and Champion. However, he recognised it could go a bit longer.

"We've notified their managers that we ideally want to finalise things by May 31," said Searle.

"That's for everyone's benefit but there's bound to be ongoing negotiations that may go beyond that date."

Origin forward Myles and Champion are in the sights of other NRL clubs but Searle was hopeful of snaring both.

"We know they're highly sought-after players and we're also in the market for a hooker as well," he said.

"By the end of May we'll hopefully have our 1-6-7-9 locked down and our forward pack and hooker settled.

"We'd love to have it finalised as much as possible by the end of this month."

Foundation Titans signing Campbell, still weighing up his future after almost retiring at the end of 2010, will also impact on the the Titans' recruiting drive.

Riley Brown has a chance in the next few weeks to impress coach John Cartwright with Searle noting a number of other hookers are coming off contract at the end of the season.

The club also has a huge opinion of 19 year-old Matt Srama who's been impressive in their under-20s side.

"He's still very young and he's still got a bit of physical development to do," said Searle.

"He's football ability is exceptional but you don't want to rush young players until they're body is ready for it."

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