Tino Faasuamaleaui
Gold Coast skipper Tino Fa'asuamaleaui intends to lead the club he signed a mega-deal with to glory. Image by Dave Hunt/AAP PHOTOS
  • rugby league

Monster Titans deal has Tino primed to repay faith

Joel Gould February 5, 2024

Complacency is a dirty word for Gold Coast captain Tino Fa’asuamaleaui, who says he is determined to lead the club to a maiden NRL title after signing a monster 10-year deal.

The Australian Test and Queensland State of Origin prop is also emboldened by what he ranks as the best Titans forward pack seen on paper and by new coach Des Hasler taking some of the burden off his broad shoulders by driving the highest of standards.

When Fa’asuamaleaui signed his incredible extension last season there were few doubting the wisdom of the move, given the high esteem in which he is held as a player, leader and man.

Two seasons of missing finals at the Titans have taught the 2020 premiership winner with the Storm plenty.

He will play the rest of his career at the Titans and intends to make the long stint count, insisting “one hundred per cent” the Titans can challenge for the premiership.

“It is easier having that security there and I don’t have that head noise worrying about contracts and injury … but I just want to repay the club,” Fa’asuamaleaui said of his huge deal.

“They have backed me for the next 10 years and I am grateful for that and just want to bring success here.

“We have the team to do it and the forward pack to do it. This is the best pre-season I have been a part of. The boys are ripping in and creating our identity. We just have to put it into actions.

“I am only young and part of my growth and learning as a captain is to go through the tough times, learn and make sure you don’t make mistakes again.

“Having those losses (in previous seasons) hurts but the tough times won’t last.”

The Titans packs boasts Maroons trio Mo Fotuaika, David Fifita and Fa’asuamaleaui.

Beau Fermor, who was brought into the two-day Maroons camp on the weekend, returns from an ACL injury after missing all of last season.

Isaac Liu and Sam Verrills won premierships with the Sydney Roosters and former Brisbane prop Keenan Palasia had a superb 2023 in the side that reached the grand final.

“We’ve got a big, mobile forward pack and I can’t wait to take it to some of the good packs in the game,” Fa’asuamaleaui said.

That belief is being enhanced by the methodology of Hasler.

Fa’asuamaleaui said the two-time premiership winning coach cared for his players’ wellbeing off the field, and on the field by driving them to be the best versions of themselves.

“He keeps the boys accountable for their actions. I love that,” he said.

“Instead of having me yell at someone for dropping a ball, he is there to do it.

“It is the same if I make and error. He is there backing me up and pushing me to be the best person I can be. I just have to make sure I am leading the boys come game time.”