Cannings signs NRL deal with Titans - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cannings signs NRL deal with Titans

By Daniel Pace 05/06/2007 05:04:41 PM Comments (0)

Gold Coast are confident they'll get value for money from new recruit Aaron Cannings despite the injury-plagued Parramatta prop making just 58 first-grade appearances since his NRL debut in 2002.

The Titans have announced that Cannings, 25, had signed a three-year deal to help bolster the club's front-row depth from next season.

"He's starting to play some serious football now," Titans managing director Michael Searle said.

"He's had a couple of injuries but he's still got lots of k's on the clock left."

The 110kg Cannings missed the entire 2006 season with a shoulder injury and has broken his arm twice during his four-year stint with the Eels.

He also fractured his skull after falling off a balcony in 2001 when contracted to the Northern Eagles.

"I've liked him for a while," said Titans coach John Cartwright about the bruising New Zealand-born prop.

"He could develop into a representative player. He's had a full season this year without any injury and he's playing good football.

"He's a bit of a different type of player to the front-rowers we've got.

"We just needed someone with a nuggety build that can hit the deck pretty hard and play the ball quick."

The Titans' need for another top-shelf prop to complement co-captain Luke Bailey was further highlighted on Sunday when Brad Meyers became the club's second specialist front-rower to suffer a season-ending injury.

Meyers ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee playing against Canberra while Michael Henderson broke his leg in round five.

Back-rower Anthony Laffranchi is likely to be shifted into the front-row when the Titans play Wests Tigers at Campbelltown on June 17 following their round 13 bye this weekend.

Cannings, who made his first-grade debut with the Northern Eagles in June 2002, rejected a two-year extension of his Eels contract to move closer to his family in Lismore.

Bailey warned Cannings he was in for a rude shock training under tough-as-nails fitness and conditioning coach Billy Johnstone.

"Don't tell him now but he'll probably lose about five or six kilos under Billy Johnstone," NSW Origin forward Bailey said.

Bailey said he realised the importance of big, mobile forwards after facing Canberra's monster pack in the Titans' 28-8 victory at Carrara on Sunday.

"They had the biggest pack I've ever seen," Bailey said. "Adding any size to our pack will be a bonus.

"Aaron's a big fella and he's quite mobile. They (Cartwright and football manager Scott Sattler) told me they were looking at getting him and I said he'd be a pretty good acquisition to the pack."

Searle said he was open to the idea of recruiting a prop mid-season but it depended on who was available and whether that player could be fitted in under the salary cap.

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