Bailey commits to Titans for years to come - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bailey commits to Titans for years to come

By Laine Clark 10/05/2011 06:48:38 PM Comments (0)

Age shall not weary the Gold Coast Titans, it seems.

Moments after re-signing until the end of the 2013 NRL season, prop Luke Bailey, 31, said the game-plan was to play for another five years.

And he hoped his decision to knock back a lucrative offer from the UK's Super League would persuade a fellow veteran to stay for at least another year - 33-year-old Preston Campbell.

"Before our last game (on Sunday) I was in his (Campbell's) ear to stick around, (asking him) that the old fellas go around again," Bailey said on Tuesday.

"He is the kind of player you need at a club, regardless of how he plays.

"On or off the field you need him around - hopefully he sticks around for another couple of years."

Campbell is mulling over his future after initially claiming he will retire at the end of the season.

His chances of playing on have been helped by the Titans' decision to withdraw an offer to Dragons fullback Darius Boyd.

Gold Coast have also been linked to Roosters forward Nate Myles, Melbourne centre Beau Champion and former Penrith half Craig Gower.

Titans coach John Cartwright said on Tuesday that a utility forward was now the priority of a shopping spree that has already snared Test back Jamal Idris and Sharks prop Luke Douglas.

"We have money to spend and we will keep looking," Cartwright said.

Bailey's re-signing was welcome news after ex-Test backrower Brad Meyers retired and forward Anthony Laffranchi (UK Super League) and hooker Nathan Friend (Warriors) announced they would be leaving next year.

Bailey declared himself a "definite starter" for the battling Titans (3-6 record) against Manly at Skilled Park on Monday night after missing their last-round loss to the Warriors due to neck soreness.

While succumbing to injury just last week, the 201-game forward believed his body was holding up so well he could follow in the footsteps of Queensland Origin greats Steve Price and Petero Civoniceva.

Asked if this was the last contract he would sign, Bailey said: "Probably not.

"I will keep going (after his latest contract expires).

"I look at the blokes ahead of me - the Prices and the Civonicevas - who went until they were 35 or 36.

"Appearance-wise I am ageing at a rapid rate but the body is going fantastic and I feel like I am playing as well as ever.

"And the best thing is that I feel I can still learn more out there and guide the younger players a bit better."

While happy with his forward depth, which includes youngsters Ryan James and Luke Page, Cartwright said Bailey's retention was critical.

"You can't put a price on experience - plus Bails is playing like a 20-year-old," he said.

Meanwhile, Cartwright is sweating on the fitness of up to seven players - including ex-Test utility Greg Bird - in an 18-strong squad named for the Manly clash.

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