The arrival of “future Origin player” Nathan Peats might yet spark an unlikely Gold Coast NRL finals tilt, Greg Bird says.
But not everyone at the Titans will be excited about former Parramatta hooker Peat’s 18-month deal.
The futures of the Titans’ four off-contract hookers remains up in the air after Gold Coast’s immediate signing of Peats from the now-salary cap complaint Eels.
Gold Coast coach Neil Henry said it was unlikely Peats would make his Titans debut on Monday night against the Sydney Roosters.
“We’re not sure. It’s been a rush,” Henry said.
“There’s a possibility but I would say he’s very doubtful to play on Monday night given the short turnaround.”
Bird said the sooner Peats arrived, the sooner Gold Coast would turn their season around.
The Titans have lost five straight games.
“He’s a future Origin player,” Bird said of his former Indigenous All Stars teammate Peats.
“When Robbie Farah is done (for NSW), he will probably be the man who steps into the nine role.
“Having someone of his talent on our roster has definitely bolstered us.
“Now he has an opportunity with us to bring our side through, hopefully into the semi-finals.”
The deal helped ensure Parramatta were salary-cap compliant ahead of Friday night’s match against South Sydney.
However, Peats’ signing does not bode well for the Titans’ four rakes.
Matt Srama appears on the outer after breaking down in March with a season-ending knee injury.
Daniel Mortimer (hamstring) might battle to reclaim his bench utility role this year with Peats at the club.
Kierran Moseley appears the most likely to be kept as back-up for Peats.
Nathan Friend is the starting hooker and co-captain but, at 35, appears set for retirement.
“With Peatsy coming in, it will only better our chances of getting back into the winner’s circle,” Bird said.
“And if you get a couple of wins and a bit of confidence, anything can happen from there – that’s the plan. I can’t wait ….”
Henry believed the Titans were snapping up NSW City Origin representative Peats at the peak of his career.
“He’s at that stage. He’s played 90-odd NRL games and played a couple of games for (NSW) City and the All Stars game – he’s a tough competitor,” he said.
The Titans’ coach admitted Peats’ arrival had given him plenty of food for thought before assessing his 2017 roster.
“There’s competition for hooker spots and he adds depth and versatility to our forwards,” he said.
“It’s an evolving squad.
“We’ve got some players off contract and we need to make some decisions.”