A genuine belief Gold Coast are on the verge of something special in the NRL was enough for Tino Fa'asuamaleaui to reject the lure of Wayne Bennett and sign a new deal with the Titans.
The Queensland State of Origin representative inked a long-term contract extension on Monday keeping him with the Titans until the end of 2026.
That was in spite of a strong attempt by Bennett and expansion side the Dolphins to lure the 21-year-old to be part of their foundation NRL team in 2023.
“I was tempted obviously by Redcliffe, it's an hour closer to home and obviously Wayne's there but I want to build something here with this young crew we have,” Fa'asuamaleaui said.
“There's a lot of good people around the club and I really want to be a part of that and hopefully we're holding the trophy up one day.
“When you've got the world's best coach calling you and having meetings it's very hard to knock him back.
“I've got a lot of respect for him and it's good to be able to talk to him but I just see there's a lot of potential here on the Gold Coast and especially with the young boys that we have.”
His own future settled, Fa'asuamaleaui is hoping a former Melbourne teammate in Brandon Smith will also choose the Titans over the Dolphins.
The Storm hooker, who won the 2020 grand final for the Storm alongside Fa'asuamaleaui, has been in discussion with several clubs as he attempts to sort out where he'll be playing in 2023.
“I've spoken to him a few times, just making jokes and that, but Brandon will make his decision and base it off what he wants for his family,” Fa'asuamaleaui said.
“I know his family is a huge part of his life and he's going to take a lot of time to make the right decision.
“It'd be awesome (if he signed for Titans). Any club that gets Brandon Smith would be awesome.
“He's such a good player and he's such a good character to have.”Internet Explorer Channel Network