Gold Coast forward Jarrod Wallace has no intention of giving up his starting role at the NRL club having fought so hard last year to regain it.
The former Queensland State of Origin representative was axed by Justin Holbrook just three matches into the 2020 season after the Titans slumped to an 0-3 start under their new coach.
He returned on the interchange bench four weeks later and by round 15 had worked his way back into the starting XIII.
Wallace remained in the line-up throughout the final weeks of the season as the Titans ended the year with five straight wins to finish ninth on the competition ladder.
While Holbrook has strengthened his forward pack in the off-season with the recruitments of David Fifita, Tino Fa’asuamaleaui and Herman Ese’ese, Wallace has no intentions of simply making way for the new faces.
“My starting role is everything for me. I lost it there for a bit last year and I worked hard to get it back so I’m not putting myself in any position to lose it again this year,” Wallace said.
“We’ll just see what Justin wants to do and what he think is best for the team but for me it’s to make sure I just keep keep training hard, make sure that I’m running where I need to be and make sure I put myself in the position that Justin picks me for that role.
“Once I get it, I just stay there. No-one will take it off me.”
Now 29, Wallace is entering the latter stages of an NRL career that has included 152 appearances at Brisbane and the Titans as well as six Origins for the Maroons.
Contracted until the end of 2022, Wallace says his ambition would be to play out his career at the Titans.
“The Gold Coast is my home and this is the reason why I came back here,” he said.
“Just couldn’t see myself going anywhere else … I’ve got so much belief in this club and hopefully we can do well over the next few years and maybe re-sign for a couple after that and finish off.”