Titans coach Garth Brennan admits it is a disadvantage not having a full roster, but can't see the point in signing inferior talent.
Titans coach Garth Brennan admits it is a disadvantage not having a full roster, but can't see the point in signing inferior talent. DAVID ROWLAND

Titans query wisdom of deadline to fill 30-man roster

GOLD Coast coach Garth Brennan has questioned the viability of a new clause that will force him to sign players who aren't in the club's long-term plans.

The Titans have 27 players on the books, but under new regulations aimed at improving stability for more NRL players the club must have 30 signed by June 30.

The increase in roster sizes from 25 players in previous seasons coincides with the abolition of the second-tier salary cap, as part of the new collective bargaining agreement with the Rugby League Players Association.

Brennan insists he's actively seeking additions, and with injuries to key men Dale Copley and Nathan Peats last weekend he is currently disadvantaged by not having the full complement.

But he says the ability to draw players and their families away from Sydney and provide long-term security on the Gold Coast makes things difficult.

"It's a difficult situation - you've got clubs that don't want to release players because they want to comply as well,” he said.

"And I don't want to sign someone this year if they're not in our plans going forward, that's just silly.”

Punishments aren't expected to be severe in what is seen as a grace period of the new arrangement, with a March 1 deadline for 29-man squads already passed without consequence.

But Brennan said the issue needed to be attended to, given the obvious barriers for more isolated clubs.

"Clubs like the Gold Coast and Newcastle are a little hampered in that area,” he said.

"It's quite easy in Sydney to go from Penrith to Parra and not have to uproot the family.

"We're not going to be a dumping ground for players that aren't getting an opportunity somewhere else.

"That just makes us look like idiots if we sign a player then try and move them in six, 12 months' time.”

Brennan said Gold Coast's new head of football, Phil Moss, was "running names by him daily”, but the club had no offers out.

"It's not an advantage by any stretch (to have less than 30 contracted players), but we're working hard to get that sorted,” Brennan said.

"It's always a moving beast and things are always popping up.”

- AAP



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