The Titans are eyeing some of the NRL's best talent.
The Titans are eyeing some of the NRL's best talent.

Is your NRL club’s star on rival’s hit list?

Mal Meninga has a plan to fix the last-placed Titans - he's going ­shopping.

In an open letter to Gold Coast members, the Titans' head of performance and culture detailed a bullish recruitment strategy that entails targeting the NRL's richest talent, including David Fifita, Thomas Flegler, Josh Jackson, Dallin Watene-­Zelezniak, Felise Kaufusi, Ryan ­Papenhuyzen, Kyle Feldt and Jordan McLean.

Meninga has also had a crack at the "big mouths" who have criticised the Titans during a woeful season.

By making the Titans' strategy public, Meninga has shown how serious he is to resurrect the NRL's perennial underachievers and this year's wooden spooners.

However, the powerful stance could backfire if the Titans don't land the big fish they are chasing.

"It is a buyer's market, and we are keen to go shopping," Meninga wrote in the letter to members.


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Mal Meninga is ready to go shopping for the Titans. Picture: AAP
Mal Meninga is ready to go shopping for the Titans. Picture: AAP


"We will apply our new recruitment criteria in assessing the credentials of players we are interested in.

"Are they from the Gold Coast? Are they the right character to be Titans? Can they improve us as a club on and off the field with the standards they expect from themselves and demand from others? Plenty fit that criteria.

"Will we be talking to David Fifita about returning to the Gold Coast, where he went to school at Palm Beach Currumbin High School? Of course we will.

"What about his Broncos teammate Thomas Flegler, who could follow Jai Arrow's path to State of Origin by becoming a senior player at the ­Titans? Absolutely.

"Canberra's Charnze Nicoll-­Klokstad? Josh Jackson and Dallin Watene-Zelezniak from the Dogs?

"Felise Kaufusi and Ryan Papenhuyzen at Melbourne? Kyle Feldt and Jordan McLean at the Cowboys?

"We would be keen to have a chat with all of them."


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Unfortunately for Meninga and the Titans, Nicoll-Klokstad has just signed a new deal with the Raiders that will keep him at the club until 2023.

Meninga also attempted to explain why the club's most outstanding talent, representative forward Jai Arrow, had been allowed to hit the open market from November 1 this year.

"Our decision to let Jai's manager go to the open market before November 1 was criticised by some people, but to me it is common sense," Meninga wrote.

"Jai has a very good offer on the table to stay at the Titans, and we really hope that he accepts it and stays on the Gold Coast.

"We have made it clear that Jai is seen as a player this club can build around for the years ahead.


Jai Arrow has been allowed to hit the open market. Picture: Getty Images
Jai Arrow has been allowed to hit the open market. Picture: Getty Images


"He is undoubtedly a future leader of the Titans.

"But if, despite our best efforts, Jai's manager should decide his client's ­future is away from the Gold Coast, we can begin the difficult task to try to replace him."

Ahead of the Titans' final game of the season against St George Illawarra on Saturday, Meninga asked for fans to return next year.

"As this is my final Mal on Monday column for the year, I wanted to share this with you for a couple of reasons," he said.

"The first was to tell you to stick solid, and don't give up.

"Believe me when I tell you, contrary to what big mouths outside the club have to say, the Titans are going in the right ­direction."