Nathan Freind
Leaving the Gold Coast

Gold Coast Titans to seek new hooker

The Gold Coast Titans must now embark on the search for a new hooker in the wake of Nathan Friend’s bombshell that he will most likely quit the club at the end of the year.

As reported exclusively in the Gold Coast Bulletin today, Friend has fielded lucrative offers from several rival NRL clubs, with the New Zealand Warriors believed to be favourites to snare his signature for 2012.

Friend is expected to make a final decision on his future as early as today.

The Titans will first look in-house to find his replacement, opening the door for highly-touted under-20s rake Matt Srama and fellow promising youngster Kayne Lawton to make their mark.

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Riley Brown, who has filled in for Friend throughout the early rounds, also shapes as viable option.

Chances are the departure of 80-minute player Friend will mean a change in the Gold Coast’s style of play.

The Titans will next year have to look at using two hookers, with one sharing the load off the bench, at least until one of the younger players develops enough to fill the void.

Crowd favourite Friend has been the beating heart of the Titans for the past few seasons and news of his departure is sure to upset the club’s legion of fans.

Friend said he had a responsibility to make the decision that was best for his family  wife Kelly and young sons Axel and Oliver.

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Titans managing director Michael Searle conceded the club had all but resigned itself to the fact Friend would be moving on.

Read more at Gold Coast Bulletin