Gold Coast Titans will escalate their campaign to sign established NRL stars Nate Myles and Beau Champion after pulling a lucrative contract offer to classy Dragons fullback Darius Boyd.
Titans boss Michael Searle took the Boyd deal off the table on Monday after an agreed deadline to accept their terms elapsed.
Searle had been keen to secure a quick answer from Boyd, who now seems certain to follow his coach and mentor Wayne Bennett to Newcastle next season.
Searle said with Boyd out of the picture it made it “more achievable” to secure Roosters prop Myles and Storm centre Champion, and to be more forceful in negotiations with some other players who had three weeks to secure their futures with the club.
With Anthony Laffranchi heading overseas, hooker Nathan Friend going to the Warriors and veteran forward Brad Meyers announcing his immediate retirement on Monday the Titans have some cash to splash around.
Searle said the club hoped to resolve their playing roster within the next 14 days, including signing Queensland Origin forward Myles and Champion. However, he recognised it could go a bit longer.
Foundation Titans signing Preston Campbell, still weighing up his future after almost retiring at the end of 2010, will also impact on the the Titans’ recruiting drive.
Riley Brown has a chance in the next few weeks to impress coach John Cartwright with Searle noting a number of other hookers are coming off contract at the end of the season.
The club also has a huge opinion of 19 year-old Matt Srama who’s been impressive in their under-20s side.