For most of his NRL career, Gold Coast’s Luke Douglas has got used to his clubs not being part of the discussion when there’s a big-name target on the market.
At Cronulla and then the Titans, Douglas says attracting the best talent has always been a problem.
That’s why the aggressive intention shown by coach Neil Henry towards luring Queensland State of Origin back-rower Matt Gillett from rivals Brisbane is an exciting development for Douglas.
Gillett is about to spark a bidding war between the two Queensland clubs with Henry stating earlier in the week he will be doing all he can to bring the 27-year-old to the Coast.
Douglas, for one, has welcomed such a public show of intent.
“It is good, no disrespect to Cronulla but at the time we couldn’t get the big names as well,” the former Shark said.
“It’s been the same (at the Titans) but it’s good to come through that position and find yourself attracting some big names.
“It’s pretty exciting.”
The Titans face Douglas’s old club this Sunday.
With Tyrone Roberts still injured, young half Cameron Cullen will make his debut alongside Ashley Taylor while both David Shillington (hip) and Will Zillman (calf) have to prove their fitness before being cleared to take on the Sharks.
Douglas says the Sharks are a formidable opponent, particularly in the forward pack.
“The likes of (Andrew) Fifita and that, you’ve got to stop the offload, he gets the team forward and then big, strong running from (Sam) Tagataese,” he said.
“It’s going to be tough, we’ve just got to defend as a team, not individually.”