Star Gold Coast forwards Tino Fa'asuamaleaui and David Fifta have reportedly been running a behind-the-scenes recruitment drive to bring Melbourne hooker, Brandon Smith, back to the sunshine state.
Speaking to The Gold Coast Bulletin, Fa'asuamaleaui explained that his relationship formed with Smith from his time in Melbourne had allowed him to sound out the Kiwi international on a regular basis.
“Me and David have always made jokes to Brandon that we’ll hopefully have him here one day, like ‘I can’t wait to see you at our new house at the Gold Coast’,” he said.
“He’s such a good player and a character of the game. It would be exciting for him to come here and hopefully we can build some combinations between him and the other boys.
“We can’t really say too much when he’s not here but it would be special one day if he is.”
The efforts of the pair of Origin representatives have come in the wake of news that Smith is still yet to agree to terms with the Storm ahead of the opening of the player market on November 1.
According to journalist Nic Darveniza, the 2020 premiers have tabled a deal to the rampaging rake worth $800,000 per season.
While the pair have both gone on record to state that Smith would be the number one name they would like the Titans to recruit, the club themselves are supposedly yet to come to a decision.
Speaking publically prior to the negotiation period, Gold Coast chief executive, Steve Mitchell, explained that the expansion side was still weighing up whether to make a big-money offer to the recently embattled hooker.
“Your behaviour and the way you perform on the field will engender that,” he said.
“That also has an obligation on how you act as a whole off the field, with your pushback in the community and the way you behave.”
Mitchell's hesitancy comes in the wake of Smith's $50,000 fine and suspension following footage revealing him in the vicinity of a white powder following the cessation of the Storm's season.
Despite a decision on whether the Waiheke Islander's behaviour will become an issue upon relocation, Mitchell and his board's decision is unlikely to be made public knowledge.
Although the club may be on the fence about Smith's potential volatility, Fa'asuamaleaui held the view that the rake's recent troubles were completely out of character.
“He’s like a brother to me,” he said.
“I haven’t looked too much into it but that’s not the way Brandon is."
Even though the decision won't come down to him, the former Melbourne second-rower also revealed that Smith was unlikely to cause problems within the Parkwood-side's recently constructed culture
“I have faith if he came here we wouldn’t have any off-field drama. No way," Fa’asuamaleaui continued.
“It might have been in the past when boys come up here (to Gold Coast) and run amok but we’ve got a strong culture that we’re building here where the boys know not to get out of line.
“If he did ever want to come here or any other club, his reason is to win premierships and be a starting hooker.
“If we happen to get him one day, it would be pretty amazing.”
Though the Titans won't be the only side chasing Smith with an open chequebook from next week onwards, the lure of a starting role, warm weather, and the company of friends could be the factors that seal the deal.