Gold Coast Titans pre-season training. Brian Kelly. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT
Gold Coast Titans pre-season training. Brian Kelly. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT

Kelly ready to take centre stage

TITANS recruit Tyrone Peachey has hit the training track three weeks early and fellow new signing Brian Kelly knows he has a fight on his hands to pull on Gold Coast colours.

Peachey made a surprise appearance at pre-season training on Tuesday despite not being required to start life with his new club until next month.

The NSW Origin utility is entitled to extended leave after touring New Zealand with the Kangaroos last month, but has instead opted to rip into his 2019 preparations early.

Peachey's training appearance has turned up the pressure on coach Garth Brennan's new-look squad which has more depth than last season's team which stumbled to a 14th-placed finish.

Among the new additions is Kelly, a former Titans under-20s product who has spent the past two years at Manly.

Kelly, 22, proved he is NRL quality with 47 games over the past two seasons, but the Ballina product was granted an early release by new Sea Eagles coach Des Hasler to head back to his home region.

Brian Kelly has previously played for the Titans at under-20 level. Picture: Adam Head
Brian Kelly has previously played for the Titans at under-20 level. Picture: Adam Head

Kelly and Peachey roomed together during last month's Prime Minister's XIII tour of Papua New Guinea and they will now lock horns for a spot in Brennan's team next year.

Konrad Hurrell's departure to the Super League opened the door for Kelly to return to the Gold Coast, where he will vie with Dale Copley, Brenko Lee and Peachey for a spot in the centres.

"I bumped into Tyrone Peachey on the Prime Minister's XIII we played in and we happened to be roomies," Kelly said.

"We clicked pretty well. It was good to catch up with him here.

"The opportunity (to return to the Titans) popped up once Koni left.

"I spoke to my management, family and girlfriend … I was here in my juniors and Ballina is just down the road.

Peachey showed up early for pre-season. Picture by Nigel Hallet.
Peachey showed up early for pre-season. Picture by Nigel Hallet.

"There is only two centres on the field and there is Cops, Brenko Lee and Peach (to battle).

"It gives us a lot of depth and competition. It makes you push and work harder at training."

Kelly is the beginning of a generation of players entering the NRL who grew up as a Titans fan.

The NSW Country representative was not even a teenager when the likes of foundation Titans players Preston Campbell and Scott Prince took the NRL by storm following the club's entrance in 2007.

Now Kelly wants to remain at the Gold Coast for the rest of his career after making his way back to the club.

"I met with Des and had a yarn with him," Kelly said.

"He showed me what he was going to change with Manly but I just wanted to come home. I was being honest with him.

The Titans have high hopes for next season. Picture by Nigel Hallett.
The Titans have high hopes for next season. Picture by Nigel Hallett.

"I said I've got family up home, little nieces and nephews I'd love to catch up with a lot more often.

"I really enjoyed the experience at Manly. It was good. I've matured a fair bit.

"I used to go for the Titans growing up as a little kid watching Preston and Scotty Prince.

"I'm looking forward to being back here on the Gold Coast. I'd love to play for the Titans and hopefully I can get a crack at it this year.

"I'd love to finish off my career here and be at the Titans for a long while."

News Corp Australia


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