Jobs Events Advertise

Campbell aims to be a Titan among men as Gold Coast's No. 1

Andrew Mathieson -

The appointment of Des Hasler to coach Gold Coast Titans next season could make or break the future direction of Jayden Campbell's pending career.

The 23-year-old Indigenous talent fell behind teammate AJ Brimson in the pecking order for the preferred full back role this year.

Pressure will be on Campbell to regain the position his famous father Preston had his most success across 267 NRL games at four clubs, including 117 appearances on the Gold Coast to bookend his 14 NRL seasons.

The Titans even went as far as elevating 2023 recruit Keano Kini off his development contract into the first grade as the Kiwi emerged as yet another No. 1 jersey contender.

The move also forced the proud Nucoorilma man to unaccustomedly play either five-eighth in the absence of an injured Kieran Foran or otherwise to come off the bench, as a utility to cover a matchday injury.

Campbell did still start at the back in nine of his 22 games this season, but was not in the starting lineup on 10 occasions, including Gold Coast's opening four fixtures.

But Campbell has come out to declare his intentions next year is to return to fullback.

"With the new coach, I've got to come to training and do my best and prove that I'd like to play fullback," he said at a Titans' press conference.

"Growing up, fullback was my main position and I feel like that's my best position.

"I feel that's where I play my best, so I'd like to lock that spot down."

Campbell has little choice rather than seek another club should Hasler maintain the status quo.

He held off signing with rival teams last November and extended his ongoing contract for a further two years until at least the end of the 2026 season.

While the local Helensvale Hornets junior is viewed inside the Titans administration as too gifted to leave out of its NRL side and play in the Queensland Cup, the man himself has no qualms of putting the club first and bide his time away from fullback.

"For me, I've always said wherever the team needs me, I'll play," Campbell said.

"I'd like to play fullback, but wherever the team needs me, I'll play there.

"I'd love to bring a premiership to the Gold Coast, so wherever they need me to play for that to happen, I'll do it."

The difficulty may not be that Campbell is not the best fullback, but that Brimson had struggled in the halves, and the switch made better sense.

After years of watching the game back from the line, Campbell believes he is a more-rounded player for opening his eyes to the game from the positional change.

"I feel like (this year) benefited me," he said.

"When you play different positions, you understand what that position needs from other positions.

"So I wouldn't really say (the switch) stumped me."

The 44-gamer will be the most senior Titan on their current roster, including invited train-and-triallists, to return to early preseason for the youngest squad members.

Hasler's new reign at his third including two stints with Manly has Campbell already anticipating the intensity to rise with the two-time premiership winner in charge.

"I'm excited, but scared at the same time," Campbell said.

"Hopefully having someone like Des, who will be hard on the boys, will help us get a lot better."


Reece Walsh comments on potential NFL move en-route to NRL's Vegas debut
Broncos young gun Reece Walsh isn’t ruling out pursuing a shift to the NFL after getting a taste of the American game ahead of t...
Jarred Cross 1 Mar 2024
Retired Grand Slam champ Ash Barty shows her skills in quest for NZ Pro-Am Championship
Ash Barty put on her competitive face once again in her quest for the New Zealand Pro-Am Championship with a brilliant chip fr...
NCA NewsWire 1 Mar 2024
Matildas star Fowler backed despite club issues
Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson says Mary Fowler’s significant lack of playing time for Manchester City is not troubling him as...
Ed Bourke 1 Mar 2024
Rankine ready for more midfield minutes in 2024
Adelaide excitement machine Izak Rankine is expecting to spend more time in the midfield in 2024 after completing a solid pre-se...
Jackson Clark 1 Mar 2024

   Andrew Mathieson   

Indigenous All Stars captain wants rising American women to Harden up ahead of 2026 World Cup
The change of heart began with a simple message of support to the US women’s rugby league national team, wishing the freshly-min...
Andrew Mathieson 29 Feb 2024
Jai Field hints at NRL return after aiding Indigenous teammate to win over Penrith
While Bevan French stole the headlines and was the toast of Wigan after the Gomeroi man led the Super League champions to the Wo...
Andrew Mathieson 27 Feb 2024
Injured Hynes has no regret on All Stars appearances
The spiritual connection to Nicho Hynes’ ancestors heightens the times he must gather with his rugby league mob. The Cronulla p...
Andrew Mathieson 26 Feb 2024
Indigenous All Stars match ready to expand annual concept: Griffiths
The annual NRL All Stars match will forever be credited to former star Preston Campbell. But the evolution of the Indigenous Al...
Andrew Mathieson 23 Feb 2024