Forced out of South Sydney due to salary cap pressure, new Gold Coast signing Chris McQueen is looking on the bright side, resolving to help steer the NRL’s problem child through yet another rough patch.
McQueen’s recruitment on a two-year deal last week was a welcome piece of good news for the Titans at the end of a year in which they’ve been battered from pillar to post.
From the cocaine scandal to the Daly Cherry-Evans circus, serious financial problems and now the loss of star man James Roberts because of a forged signature on his contract, Gold Coast’s 2015 has redefined ‘annus horribilis’.
But McQueen, a former Queensland Origin representative and NRL premiership winner with more than 100 games of first-grade experience, said he wasn’t spooked by any of that and is looking forward to spearheading the Titans’ revival effort.
“Every club has their ups and downs,” McQueen told reporters after his first training session on the Gold Coast on Monday.
“It was a long process getting here but that didn’t deter me at all, I’m really excited to be here.
“There’s a lot of young boys here, I think that’s a good thing.
“If the boys can get the hard work under their belt, I think there’s a lot of promise.
“They’ve got a lot of footy in front of them. I’m a bit older now so playing with some young, fresh boys will bring some excitement back into the game for me.”
McQueen’s exit will allow the Rabbitohs to accommodate Sam Burgess’ rich new contract, but he said he had no hard feelings towards his former club.
A shift back to Queensland has long been rumoured for the 28-year-old back-rower, whose mother lives in Brisbane and his father in Cairns.
“I was lucky enough to be at Souths for seven years but that’s the way it is, it is a bit of a business now,” McQueen said.
“With the salary cap, it does make things a bit harder to keep players at clubs for an extended period of time.
“Things got a bit tight there, unfortunately I had to move on but I’m absolutely stoked to be up here on the Gold Coast.”