Titans pay tribute to departing ex-skipper
TITANS veteran Ryan James appears to have played his final game for the club after signing with the Canberra Raiders on a two-year deal from 2021.
The 144-game Gold Coast stalwart announced the move on Monday as the Titans’ roster reshuffle continues under coach Justin Holbrook in anticipation of an improved performance next season.
Although James (pictured) will miss future Gold Coast glory days, he will leave knowing he was instrumental in steering the club through some of its darkest days.
The club captain debuted in 2010, becoming an important part of the club on and off the field.
With young forwards David Fifita, Herman Ese’ese and Tino Fa’asuamaleaui joining next season, it was always going to be a challenge to keep the injured skipper.
James has not played this season after reinjuring his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in January.
Gold Coast CEO Steve Mitchell bid farewell to one of the club’s “most endearing figures” while Canberra’s recruitment and high-performance director Peter Mulholland credited James’ leadership as a key factor in the signing.
“Ryan gave his all on the field, but he has also given just as much off it,” Mitchell said.
“Not unlike Preston Campbell, Ryan has developed into a community leader, helping drive inclusion and social improvement outcomes.
“At this stage of his career, Ryan and his family obviously had to decide what is best for them and that means a fresh start at the Raiders.
“He moves on with our complete support and best wishes.”
James’ move comes as stand-in skipper Kevin Proctor, whose contract is up at the end of this season, declared his desire on Sunday to remain on the Gold Coast.
“Obviously I would like to stay here,” Proctors said.
“I just like where the Titans are going and where we’re heading at the moment.”