Incoming Gold Coast Titans hooker Sam Verrills has revealed not wanting to come off the bench every week or playing for the North Sydney Bears was his motivation behind seeking a release from the Sydney Roosters, despite his love of the club.
Verrills signed a two-year deal with the Titans this week after gaining a release from the end of his Roosters' contract.
The tri-colours have signed Brandon Smith to join the club from the start of the 2023 season, with the New Zealand international leaving Melbourne so he could become a permanent number nine.
That has left Verrills on the outer at the club heading into next year, and his exit to one of a number of clubs has been reported for much of the season.
While the Dolphins and St George Illawarra Dragons, it was the desperate Titans who eventually won his signature, with Justin Holbrook speaking of his delight to sign the hooker when the club made the news official last week.
Speaking to AAP, Verrills said that it was a difficult conversation with coach Trent Robinson earlier in the year which confirmed he wouldn't be a starter once Smith arrived.
"I had a conversation with Robbo at the start of the year, and it was a tough conversation to have," Verrills admitted.
"He pretty much told me that I have a contract and I can honour it, but it is hard when you have another quality hooker coming to the club next year.
"For me, I'm getting to an age where I don't want to come off the bench or play for the Bears.
"I feel that I'm a starting dummy-half, so with him coming, it was always going to be tough."
Verrills said that no matter what happened, he still loves the Roosters.
"I still love this club no matter what happened," Verrills said.
"It is unfortunate that the club is going that way, but I can't fault them."
Linking up with the Titans will see Verrills address a major issue in the club's spine, particularly with Aaron Booth going down to an ACL, MCL and PCL injury a fortnight ago that is set to see him sidelined for up to 12 months.
Erin Clark has played in the role this year, however, the club have struggled to have attacking fluency, and the twin arrivals of Verrills and Kieran Foran from the Manly Sea Eagles will be the driving factors in turning around a horror 2022 campaign.