Friend wants to play on at Titans

Gold Coast captain Nathan Friend has no intentions to retire at the end of the NRL season, despite the Titans’ plethora of options at hooker.

The 35-year-old veteran only signed a one-year contract at the start of the year, and despite his age, says he plans to play on for one more season.

“Age is just a number,” he told Sky Sports Radio’s Big Sports Breakfast.

“A lot of clubs like to use that when it comes to negotiations, but as an individual I really prepare well and look after myself.

“I’m feeling fine, I love my footy and I would love to go around one more year.”

The Titans appeared to signal their long-term hooking options when they salvaged Nathan Peats from the Parramatta salary cap trainwreck on a one-and-a-half-year deal mid-season.

Friend has retained his starting spot in the wake of the signing, with Peats coming off the bench and often fitting into the back-row for parts of the game before going into rake.

But with Peats considered the heir-apparent to Robbie Farah as the NSW No.9, it is seemingly only a matter of time before he becomes Gold Coast’s first-choice hooker.

Then there’s utility Daniel Mortimer and back-up dummy-half Kierran Moseley, who are both off contract at the end of the season.

That’s not the end of the Titans’ hooking depth, with another off-contract No.9 – Matt Srama – also on the club’s books, with his recent years hampered by injury after impressing early in his career.

However 231-game veteran Friend, as captain, still believes he has a job to do for the club and their rising stars who have surprised many this season.

“I see myself as a leader still, a leader role on and off the paddock,” Friend said.

“I think one more year would obviously see them on their way and their way and I could probably move aside and let them take over.”

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