Titans launch stunning $2m bid to poach Smith

 

The Titans are formulating a $2 million bid to poach Queensland legend Cameron Smith from Melbourne to lead a Gold Coast revolution.

Fresh off landing the signature of Broncos sensation David Fifita, News Corp can reveal the Titans have discussed offering Smith a two-year contract to finish his glittering NRL career on the Gold Coast.

Smith, 37, is off-contract beyond this season and is believed to be on the verge of deciding whether he will play on in 2021 or retire.

The Storm are in the box seat to retain Smith if he decides to forge on into a record 20th NRL campaign, but the Gold Coast are preparing to dangle a tantalising carrot in front of the former Kangaroos captain.

The Titans are open to discussing a two-year contract with Smith which would see him retire at 39 in 2022 and potentially clock up more than 475 NRL games.

Influential Titans co-owner Darryl Kelly confirmed the club's interest in Smith and said the Gold Coast favoured a two-year commitment as opposed to a one-year cameo.

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Gold Coast Titans co-owner Darryl Kelly wants to sign Cameron Smith. Picture Glenn Hampson
Gold Coast Titans co-owner Darryl Kelly wants to sign Cameron Smith. Picture Glenn Hampson

"If Cameron Smith is available anyone who didn't talk to him would have to be foolish, he would bring so much to any organisation," Kelly said.

"He would bring self-discipline and an attitude towards winning.

"We realise we have to raise the standard of our squad. Roster management is a very hard task and turning rosters around in short periods of time is almost impossible.

"It's recognised that we need some experience, there's no doubt about that, and in the right positions. Everyone recognises we are a bit short on experienced players.

"We are very much focused on who the individuals are as well."

While Smith is favoured to finish his career as a one-club legend for the Storm, the COVID-19 situation has helped bring the Titans into the picture.

Smith's family relocated to south east Queensland after the Storm was forced to leave Melbourne for the Sunshine Coast two months ago.

He has children in local schools and reports have suggested wife Barbara has been eyeing off Gold Coast property, intensifying speculation the Titans are a genuine option for Smith.

The Broncos have also been mooted as a potential swan song for Smith, but there is incredible uncertainty around 15th-placed Brisbane and the future of coach Anthony Seibold.

With culture chief Mal Meninga and coach Justin Holbrook at the helm, the Titans landed a significant blow on the Broncos last month in poaching Fifita on a $3.5 million three-year deal.

The rising Gold Coast club is not satisfied with its 2021 recruits and is eyeing off Smith to wear the No. 9 jersey and potentially captain the club next year.

Meninga has a long history with Smith, the duo orchestrating Queensland's eight-straight Origin dynasty and also working together in the Kangaroos.

Head of Performance and Culture at Titans, Mal Meninga, has worked with Cameron Smith in the Queensland Origin and Australian Kangaroos teams. Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images
Head of Performance and Culture at Titans, Mal Meninga, has worked with Cameron Smith in the Queensland Origin and Australian Kangaroos teams. Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images

Scott Sattler, the Titans' foundation football manager, said Smith would bring much-needed experience to the rebuilding club.

"It wouldn't surprise me if Mal had reached out to Cam given their history with the Queensland and Australian teams," he said.

"I don't know if he would want to finish his career at another club but the Titans would be mad not to at least ask the question.

"While the signing of Tino (Fa'asuamaleaui) and David Fifita is great recruitment, the reality is those guys are only young, they aren't ready to be leaders of the team.

"They are still missing that senior player that can drive a culture and that's what Cam Smith would do.

"If his kids are up here going to schools on the Gold Coast, it makes sense for the Titans to make a play for him. He's a Logan boy so it would be a great coup if he came home to Queensland."

Originally published as Titans launch stunning $2m bid to poach Smith



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