2023 Gold Coast Titans Preview

The Titans will be looking to rebound after a disappointing 2022.



Aaron Schoupp, AJ Brimson, Alofi’ana Khan-Pereira, Beau Fermor, Brian Kelly, Chris Randall, David Fifita, Erin Clark, Isaac Liu, Iszac Fa’asuamaleaui, Jacob Alick, Jaimin Jollife, Jayden Campbell, Joe Stimson, Jojo Fifita, Joseph Vuna, Josiah Pahulu, Keano Kini, Kieran Foran, Klese Haas, Moeaki Fotuaika, Patrick Herbert, Paul Turner, Phillip Sami, Sam McIntyre, Sam Verrills, Tanah Boyd, Thomas Weaver, Tino Fa’asuamaleaui, Toby Sexton, Tony Francis, Treymain Spry. Coach: Justin Holbrook.


1. AJ Brimson, 2. Jojo Fifita, 3. Aaron Schoupp, 4. Phil Sami, 5. Alofiana Khan-Pereira, 6. Kieran Foran, 7. Tanah Boyd, 8. Moeaki Fotuaika, 9. Sam Verrills, 10. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui, 11. David Fifita, 12.Beau Fermor, 13. Erin Clark, 14. Jayden Campbell 15. Jaimin Jolliffe, 16. Isaac Liu, 17. Joe Stimson.


Kieran Foran

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Foran’s 262-game experience will be crucial for the Titans. Foran’s been around for 13 years, with two stints at Manly Warringah (196 games and the 2011 premiership), and briefer stints at Parramatta, New Zealand Warriors, and Canterbury-Bankstown. Foran had a good 2022, with 24 games for the Sea Eagles, and five games for New Zealand in the Rugby League World Cup. Foran will hopefully fill the leadership hole left by Titan-turned-Raider Jamal Fogarty.


Sam Verrills

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While he’s a premiership winner for the Sydney Roosters (scoring the opening try in the 2019 Grand Final), Verills only played 48 games for the Eastern Suburbs club in four seasons – not helped by injuries. With this in mind, it’s probably best that he moved up north, where he’s a guaranteed starting hooker for the Titans. Assuming a kinder run with injuries, he could become one of the Titans’ standouts and also develop his leadership skills.


Jayden Campbell

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Being the son of a former club legend (Preston Campbell) is tricky, but Jayden Campbell has started well for the Titans, playing 21 games in two seasons (scoring nine tries). The question is, can Jayden oust AJ Brimson for the fullback spot, or will he have to bide his time and be an impact player off the bench?


The Titans backed up their 2021 finals appearance with a poor 2022, winning just six games and finishing 13th. And the rise of North Queensland and Brisbane gave them the “Queensland Wooden Spoon” again.

Can the Titans improve in 2023? They were busy on the recruitment front, signing Kieran Foran (Manly Warringah), Sam Verrills (Sydney Roosters), Chris Randall (Newcastle), Joe Stimson (Canterbury-Bankstown), and Aaron Schoupp (Canterbury-Bankstown). The experience of Foran and Verills (both premership winners) will be vital – but how much can two players do?

Though the elephant in the room is David Fifita. He was rumoured to be Canberra-bound on a “package deal” with partner Shaylee Bent (as she was likely to join the Raiders’ NRLW side), but that trail has cooled and Fifita remains a Titan (for now…). Even so, his attitude – with a reputation of phasing in and out of games – will be under scrutiny. Does he still want to be on the Gold Coast, or will a fresh start be the best thing for him?

At least the Titans have a favourable draw. They only play three 2022 finalists twice (North Queensland, Parramatta, Melbourne), with the other doubles against Brisbane, Canterbury-Bankstown, The Dolphins, St George Illawarra, and Wests Tigers. They play the other finalists (Penrith, South Sydney, Canberra, Sydney Roosters, Cronulla-Sutherland) once each. Though, perhaps a sign of their poor 2022, they only have three Thursday/Friday night games and 12 Sunday games (and eight afternoon games).

The Titans have a reasonable first month, playing the Tigers and Dragons in Sydney, before a tough home opener against Melbourne, and a trip to Townsville before a Round Five bye. Their run home from Round 24 is brutal though: Sharks (away), Panthers (home), Storm (away), before finishing with the Bulldogs at home. By this stage, will the Titans be in the finals mix, or will they be in the bottom four again? And will coach Justin Holbrook still be around?

While it’s hard to see the Titans making the finals, they’ll be doing well with a mid-table finish.

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