Gold Coast Titans dig in over Jai Arrow as Rabbitohs circle
By WWOS staff
4 hours ago
The Titans are playing hardball with the Rabbitohs over Jai Arrow, targeting representative stars as compensation to allow their best player to walk out of his contract one year early.
Souths have signed Arrow to replace retired superstar Sam Burgess as the club’s marquee forward but not until next season.
The Rabbitohs are desperate to bring the deal forward but the Titans have made it clear they will only allow that to happen on their terms.
Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald, Titans head of football Mal Meninga said a big name forward would need to be part of a compensation package to trigger Arrow’s release, with Test stars Cameron Murray and Tom Burgess named in the report.
“We consider Jai pretty important, probably our best player at the club,” Meninga said. “We are very happy with Jai staying around.”
Meninga’s comments followed confirmation from Rabbitohs football boss Shane Richardson that even with Latrell Mitchell signed for 2020 the club were still hoping to add Arrow before the season starts.
However, the Rabbitohs are highly unlikely to entertain the idea of offering another one of their key forwards to the Titans to make that happen.
It’s in the outside backs where Wayne Bennett has a surplus of talent following the signing of Mitchell, with recent reports indicating the likes of Dane Gagai and Alex Johnston are expendable.
Also in a tricky position is talented young utility Adam Doueihi who is likely to be forced into a back-up role by the arrival of Mitchell. That could lead him to agitate for a move but the Titans have so far been reluctant to consider an outside back as compensation for losing Arrow.
Indeed, Titans chairman Dennis Watt revealed to the Herald that the Rabbitohs offered them a winger last week, which failed to move the negotiations forward. “At this stage, we are obviously keen to keep Jai,” Watt said. “They did offer us a player last week, but he was a winger so … at this stage there is nothing there to interest us.”
Watt said that Souths have not yet come to the table with a decent offer, but was eager to “wait and see what the club would come up with over the coming weeks”.