NRL rivals South Sydney have rocked the Gold Coast by becoming a member of forces with powerhouse league nursery Keebra Park in a crushing first blow to new Titans coach Des Hasler.
This masthead can reveal the Rabbitohs have accomplished a Redfern raid by crossing the Queensland border to steal the distinguished Gold Coast faculty that has produced a technology of NRL stars.
It’s the second improvement bombshell in three months for the Titans after Hostplus Cup grand finalists Burleigh severed ties with the Gold Coast to signal an affiliate take care of Queensland derby rivals the Broncos.
Now South Sydney have infiltrated the Gold Coast’s yard.
It’s understood the Rabbitohs have brokered a three-year partnership take care of Keebra Park, the golden schoolboy manufacturing facility that has delivered the likes of David Fifita, Mo Fotuaika, Payne Haas, Reece Walsh and AJ Brimson to the NRL.
The Gold Coast faculty has helped nurture numerous NRL top-liners with hyperlinks to the Rabbitohs, together with Benji Marshall, Ben Te’o, Jesse Arthars, Jaxson Paulo and present Queensland Origin ahead Jai Arrow.
Titans chairman Dennis Watt confirmed the Coast has ceased their affiliation with Keebra Park.
“We’re disillusioned we have been unable to fulfill Keebra Park’s calls for round exclusivity as we have to act in the very best pursuits of our complete catchment space,” he mentioned.
“We take the view as a membership that we are going to proceed to supply a pathway for younger girls and boys in search of to symbolize their households and communities on the highest stage and the place potential, we try to maintain households collectively.
“We proudly boast a number of Keebra Park alumni who’re dedicated long-term right here on the Gold Coast; together with the likes of David Fifita, Tanah Boyd, AJ Brimson, Moeaki Fotuaika, Alofiana Khan-Pereira and Chantay Kiria-Ratu, with numerous these former college students named to symbolize their household heritage within the upcoming Pacific Championships.
“We’re grateful for the shut working relationships now we have had through the years with lecturers and employees who’ve at all times had the very best pursuits of their college students, their faculty, and their neighborhood at coronary heart.
“The Keebra Park faculty neighborhood will at all times be necessary to us, and we want them effectively for the longer term.”
The Titans have had a turbulent historical past with Keebra Park and tensions appeared to lastly ease three years in the past when the Gold Coast struck a recent partnership take care of the well-known faculty.
However the events have gone their separate methods once more in a transfer that can put stress on Titans bosses to stave off a two-pronged assault from South Sydney and the Broncos for the cream of Gold Coast’s rugby league expertise.
Two-time premiership coach Hasler formally begins on the Titans on November 1 and he would have relished the prospect of mining the multitude of rugby league expertise that emanates from Keebra Park Excessive.
However Hasler should now hold one eye on the recruitment actions of the Broncos and Rabbitohs, who could have a stable foothold on the Gold Coast by way of Burleigh and Keebra Park respectively.
The events have been locked in a Mexican stand-off for a while throughout negotiations over a potential extension.
It’s understood Keebra Park wished the Titans to half methods with rival main colleges Marsden Excessive and Palm Seaside Currumbin to signal an exclusivity association.
That was not palatable to the Titans, who have been hoping to proceed a three-way improvement partnership with Keebra, Marsden and PBC of their quest to snap the Gold Coast’s 16-year premiership drought.
Amid the negotiating break down, the Bunnies have pounced in a transfer that can give South Sydney an NRL pathway for female and male expertise within the south-east Queensland hall.
In the meantime, the Titans have launched their very own raid by linking up with embattled Hostplus Cup membership Ipswich.
Underneath Gold Coast’s take care of Ipswich, the Titans will provide gamers to its Hostplus Cup crew, which had a nightmare 2023 marketing campaign, shedding all 20 matches to complete the picket spoon.
Watt mentioned he was excited to associate with the Jets, who gained their maiden Queensland Cup premiership in 2015, subsequent season.
“The Ipswich area is certainly one of Queensland’s true rugby league nurseries and we’re excited to have the Jets on board with us in 2024,” Watt mentioned.
“The area is immersed with expertise.
“It’s dwelling to a number of rugby league greats, together with ‘Alfie’ (Allan) Langer, the Walters brothers and even our very personal Karyn Murphy and Jim Lenihan, alongside present Titans Phil Sami and Josiah Pahulu – the younger gun having captained Ipswich State Excessive Faculty to victory within the Nationwide Schoolboy Cup in 2022.
“It’s additionally necessary for us to have numerous feeder golf equipment to permit these not in NRL’s prime 17 the chance to nonetheless be enjoying often, and our new partnership with the Jets alongside our longstanding affiliation with Tweed will permit us to proceed our quest to convey success to the Gold Coast.”
Initially revealed as Gold Coast Titans and Keebra Park split after Rabbitohs’ raid