As the Gold Coast Titans comb through the NRL’s meat market to find a new figurehead for the future, prop Luke Douglas has implored the club to look within.
Tweed Heads product Ryan James captained the Titans for the first time in their impressive 28-14 win over Canterbury on Sunday, covering for the Origin-enforced absence of usual skipper Nate Myles.
Based on that experience, Douglas believes James is ready to assume the role on a permanent basis with Myles bound for Manly next year.
“He leads by example,” Douglas said.
“He’s a really good speaker. Nate’s a real good speaker too but someone’s got to fill that void and he’s doing a great job.
“Out of everyone during the whole season he’s the one doing the little things no one sees.
“We watched the video and we go, ‘Far out, he’s working hard, he’s making this, he’s doing the play.’
“He’s really had a great season, he’s getting the team around well.
“He’s a local junior, great player, future rep player – he’d be great.”
James has already been anointed a future captain by Titans great Scott Prince and former Gold Coast Charger Scott Sattler.
While wily five-eighth Aidan Sezer and two-try excitement machine James Roberts stole the headlines, both Douglas and James were key in Gold Coast’s victory, which took them into the NRL’s top eight.
In the Bulldogs, the Titans were faced with the fourth-heaviest forward pack ever recorded in the NRL – only outweighed by themselves on three other occasions this year.
“Usually I look for someone small to run at but there weren’t too many guys that were small out there,” Douglas said.
“They’re a big pack and it was hard to stop them.
“It came tight there at a few times but two weeks in a row we showed a bit of grit and determination to push out the other side.”
The Titans face the New Zealand Warriors at home on Saturday night but will need to get creative to find back-up at hooker following a medial ligament injury to Kierran Moseley.
With Beau Falloon (wrist) and Matt Srama (ankle) already out, Moseley was the player the Titans could least afford to lose.
His injury could keep him out for up to two months while Roberts is also in doubt after taking a knock to his knee.