Gold Coast Titans greatest NRL team

10 Jul 21, 9:23AM 0 Comments

Written by Joshua Dean

Photo by Getty Images

The Gold Coast Titans are the NRL’s youngest club. Even though the side has only been in the league for 15 seasons, they have provided some great moments and entertaining sides so let’s have a look at their greatest ever line-up.

The stipulations are simple; Each player must have played a minimum 25 games for the club and the players are judged purely based on their form whilst playing for them. So for example, David Fifita cannot be selected.

1. William Zillman (2009-2017) 156 appearances

The Fullback position at the Titans is a fascinating one. There have been 23 players who have donned the blue and gold number one jersey, however, no one has really made it their own, except for Will Zillman. In a team that was ever changing, ‘Zilly’ was always consistent. He is one of the most underrated fullbacks of the NRL era. Sure, AJ Brimson may take this spot eventually, however Zillman deserves it at the moment.

2. David Mead (2009-2016) 147 appearances

Mead’s time at the Titans was full of many tries and highlights. Obviously, the one that comes to mind is the try where he catches the ball off the bounce one handed to score in the corner. Unlike many wingers in his era, he was smaller in stature but had the pace and skill to succeed. Mead had many 10+ try seasons at the club, making him an obvious selection on the wing.

3. James Roberts (2014-2015) 36 appearances

Jimmy the Jet had a short stint on the Gold Coast, however really impressed and entertained in that time. In just 36 appearances, he scored 21 tries, which puts him as the Titans top try scorer when playing in the centre position alone. This is incredible considering he only played one and half seasons at the club.

4. Mat Rogers (2007-2011) 77 appearances

There have been some talented players who have played in the centres for the club, but no one long-term. Brian Kelly may eventually push for a spot here, however for now it’s too early. Mat Rogers played 33 matches on the edge for the club, scoring 15 times while playing in the centre position. Although he came to the club in the twilight of his career, he more than proved that he deserved to be there.

5. Anthony Don (2013-present) 152 appearances

‘The Don’ is one of the most underrated players in the NRL. With 85 tires in just 152 matches, he is the Titan’s all-time try scorer. One of his best attributes is his skill under the high ball, where he can regularly be seen catching bombs and scoring in the corner. A cult hero amongst Titans fans, he was an easy selection in this team.

6. Preston Campbell (2007-2011) 103 appearances

Preston Campbell was the cover boy of the Gold Coast Titans in their early years. He was such a talented player and for someone so small, he really did well to play as many games as he did. Somehow he was never picked for Australia or NSW, despite having an illustrious career, especially at the Titans. Campbell is a true inspiration for the Indigenious people, as well as people who get told they are ‘too small’.

Preston Campbell playing for the Gold Coast Titans

7. Scott Prince (2007-2012) 124 appearances

Scott Prince was a crucial marquee signing for the club early on. At his time in the Gold Coast, he won Dally M Halfback of the Year in 2010, as well as RLIF Halfback of the Year in 2008 and 2010. He is also the club’s top point scorer by over 300 points. Prince was highly influential at the club, especially on the field with his kicking game. Would be in the running to be known as the greatest Titan of all time.

8. Luke Bailey (2007-2014) 150 appearances

One of the club’s first ever signings, Luke Bailey was a great servant to the Titans in their early days. He played rep football regularly throughout his time at the club, as well as being named club player of the year on a record three occasions. Bailey was the foundation of the side as Co-Captain for many years. He also was the first person to score at Skilled Park. Bailey is a true Titan and symbolises what the club wants in their players.

9. Nathan Friend (2007-2011, 2016) 121 appearances

Historically, the hooker position at the Titans has been typically mediocre, however, their first ever number nine had a stable presence. Nathan Friend was a hard nosed, defensive minded hooker who gave his all at the Titans. He was there when the club was at its most successful. Titans fans remember Friend as a player who would do anything to win, even though he was not the most talented.

10. Ryan James (2010-2019) 144 appearances

Ryan James was a true servant throughout his time in the Gold Coast. He was Captain when they were going through possibly their toughest time, however he always remained professional and showed great leadership. Two club player of the year awards were given to him in his 10 year stint at the Titans. James was very unlucky to never play for either Australia or NSW while at the club, however he really is a Titans great, making it gut wrenching seeing him leave the club.

Ryan James playing for the Gold Coast Titans

11. Anthony Laffranchi (2007-2011) 102 appearances

Laffranchi is another foundation player that became a club legend. He scored 32 tries in 102 matches for the side, a great strike rate for a second rower. In the Titans inaugural season, 2007, he was named co-winner of club player of the year. He was a rep player for both Australia and NSW in 2008, where he played his best football, scoring 12 tries in 20 NRL matches, as well as being awarded RLIF Second Rower of the Year. The second rower position is rich with talent at the Titans, so this is a big, however completely deserved achievement for Laffranchi.

12. Greg Bird (2010-2016) 129 appearances

After leaving Cronulla and a short stint in France, Bird turned his career around at the Gold Coast Titans. He became a consistent rep player and a club workhorse for many years. His leadership skills shone at the Titans, where he became Captain for a few seasons. For both NSW and the Titans he may have won more than he lost, however Bird was a true competitor that you would rather play with than against.

13. Ashley Harrison (2008-2014) 117 appearances

Brisbane born Ashley Harrison joined the club in their second season in 2008. He cemented the lock position as his own, as well as playing five-eighth when required. His form at the Titans re-earned him his Queensland jersey, as well as finals football for the club. Harrison was lock throughout the club’s best era, making him a certainty to start at number 13.

14. Mark Minichello (2007-2014) 173 appearances

As the Titans most capped player of all time with 173 appearances, Mark Minichello had to get selected in this side. He was highly underrated, being a vital part of the Titans side that made the finals on several occasions. Most of his time at the club he played on the edge in the second row, however also played lock as well as coming off the bench. He probably left the NRL soon, because he ended up playing five more seasons in the Super League. However, he still is known as a key figure of the Titan’s early history.

Mark Minichello playing for the Gold Coast Titans

15. Nate Myles (2012-2015) 75 appearances

The forwards bench spot was a tough dilemma. There were many options but Nate Myles gets the nod mostly due to his 2012 season where he won Dally M Second Rower of the Year and Representative of the Year, the RLIF Second Rower of the Year and both Ron Mcauliffe and Wally Lewis medals. He really was a great signing for the club and it was just a shame that he did not stay longer.

16. Jarrod Wallace (2017-present) 95 appearances

Jarrod Wallace is prime example of a Broncos player being bought by the Gold Coast Titans and becoming a better player at the Gold Coast. Even when the club was losing most weeks, Wallace was impressive, getting selected for Queensland six times. He is an example of an old school prop, who makes his metres and tackles without ever getting credit.

17. Alexander Brimson (2018-present) 58 appearances

AJ Brimson has been incredibly impressive in his short time at the club. In a side that has struggled in the past few seasons, Brimson has been a shining light, scoring 24 tries in 58 matches. This form has allowed him to earn a spot in the Queensland side. He has played fullback, five-eighth, halfback and off the bench in his short career, making him a great utility option in this side, with his incredible pace and playmaking ability.

Coach – John Cartwright (2007-2014) 192 matches

The decision on who coaches this all time Titans side is fairly easy to make at the moment. Justin Holbrook may eventually be put here, however for now, it has to be John Cartwright. He is the only Titans coach to have over a 40% win rate (45.3%), even having coached double the amount of games than any other coach. Cartwright made the top four with the Gold Coast Titans on two occasions, the only two times they have done it. He is an obvious selection here.

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