Titans captain Ryan James could be the secret weapon Gold Coast need to secure the contract of in-demand star Latrell Mitchell, with the pair both featuring in the All-Stars’ week-long cultural camp.
In preparation for their upcoming clash against New Zealand Maori All-Stars in February, the Indigenous All Stars have spent time together connecting with their ancestral ways of life, with James admitting he spent some of his time away as a recruiter to lure Mitchell to the Gold Coast.
“I think everyone was trying to get in his ear,” James told the media.
“It would be great to have him, he’s one of those once-in-a-lifetime players.
“He is his own player but he does remind you of Greg Inglis.
“He’s a goalkicker too and they’re invaluable because he guarantees you two points after a try.
“Those players that can score the tries and (convert) them, especially coming off last year when he had 200 or something points … it’s amazing what he can do.
“If he was to come up here it would be pretty great.”
While Mitchell gave away no indication on where he will land in the off-season, he has admitted he is keen to join a side that can give him and his family the greatest support.
If that falls to the club with the biggest pockets this year, the Titans are likely going to miss out on the front-rower, with Wests Tigers having the biggest war chest for 2020.
If Mitchell looks to fancy playing alongside a host of indigenous stars, he may choose the Gold Coast, joining James, Tyrone Peachey, Nathan Peats and Leilani Latu as the club’s biggest signing in their history.
That chance remains sturdy, as Mitchell’s pride for his family and cultural background is a key motivator in his game and most likely his decision.
“Coming out of the camp last week he told us how much this game meant to him and what it is to represent your people,” he said.
“Just what it means to him and his family being indigenous.
“He’s one of the brightest stars in our game and whatever decision he chooses will be the best for him and his family.”