Forget being the shy kid who giggles a lot, Gold Coast rookie Kane Elgey is aiming to be bigger and meaner for his 2016 NRL season.
The 21-year-old halfback is giving Titans’ fans hope for life without Daly Cherry-Evans, capping an encouraging debut campaign with a man-of-the-match display against Canberra on Sunday.
A late inclusion after overcoming a hip injury, Elgey scored one try and set up three others in the impressive 28-12 win, also adding a 40-20 in a performance that was easily the best of his short NRL career.
Cherry-Evans’ controversial decision to back out of a multi-million dollar deal to join the Titans has heaped plenty of pressure on Elgey’s shoulders.
The 21-year-old has gone from prospect to key player in the space of four months – with captain Nate Myles describing him as a “good footy player” but also as someone who is “very shy and giggles”.
In a bid to shed his kid status, Elgey says he wants to use his second senior pre-season to stack muscle onto his frame.
“I’ve got to be a bit more angry on the field,” he said.
“I’m sure it’ll come.
“I just want to get a strong pre-season under my belt and put on some weight. Still a bit small, that’s my main focus.”
Elgey’s rise makes him the man most likely to become the Titans’ chief playmaker next year but with fellow young gun Ashley Taylor and Newcastle’s Tyrone Roberts joining the club he knows nothing is guaranteed.
Undaunted, Elgey believes that competition in the club’s halves can only be a good thing for his development.
“It’s going to be spots up for grabs, it’s going to be hard,” he said.
“It’ll be good, there’s going to be depth in the squad.
“I just want to get my defence a bit stronger and the rest comes from that.
“Another pre-season will help. I’m just learning. I’ve just got rise up.
“I’m a confidence player. The more games I play the better I get.”