Welsh flyer targets Titans move
ST Helens speedster Regan Grace is lighting up the English Super League and he wants to play in the NRL … for the Gold Coast Titans
Five days ago, incoming Titans coach Justin Holbrook guided Grace and his Saints teammates to the Super League title.
When Grace, who is playing for Wales in this weekend's World Cup 9s, was asked which NRL side he wants to play for, he said the reigning wooden spooners would be ideal.
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"The Gold Coast, so I can go see my old coach Justin Holbrook … I have a best mate who lives up on the Gold Coast as well so it would be good to catch up with him," Grace said with a laugh.
Holbrook signed a two-year deal - with an option to extend - as Titans head coach and is tasked with the job of rebuilding the wooden-spooners' roster.
Grace is under contract at St Helens until the end of season 2021 but his signature would be a coup for the struggling club.
While a move might be a couple of years away, Grace, who scored 22 tries from 33 matches in 2019, is keen to play in the NRL.
"I'd love to be able to get to that standard and test myself out here. We're at the top level [at St Helens] over in England, doing our thing there and we are starting to win trophies. But hopefully I can get a couple more of those first before I start looking elsewhere," he said.
The electrifying winger is one of the fastest players in England and has been burning opposition defenders since making his debut back in 2017.
Grace, 22, was clocked at a top speed of 36.7km/h this year in a game against Hull KR. It's the kind of pace that has him close the NRL's fastest man Josh Addo-Carr (38.5km/h) from Melbourne, while he's marginally quicker than Sydney Roosters star centre Latrell Mitchell (36.6km/h).
While a number of English forward imports like the South Sydney's Burgess trio and Canberra's Josh Hodgson, Elliott Whitehead and John Bateman have successfully transitioned into the NRL, outside backs haven't had the same success.
"I think there is a lot more competition in the backs over here and there is a lot of similar type players, like fast players who are elusive and are all really tall. Also, the English clubs try to keep their best backs too. I think it's a bit of both," Grace said.
It's been a whirlwind few days for Grace, who will line up for Wales in the World Cup Nines, after he was forced to board a long-haul flight to Sydney less than 24 hours after winning the Super League grand final on Saturday.
"We won the grand final then less than 24 hours later I had to be ready to get on the plane … I'm gutted that I missed out on most of the partying," he said.
"Then I had to sit down on the plane for another 24 hours and I finally landed here on Tuesday morning. A had a bit of a sore head but I think the adrenaline and the excitement of winning got me through it all."