Tweed bound Hazard in hot pursuit of NRL debut

Christian Hazard will take to the field for the Tweed Heads Seagulls in the Intrust Super Cup in 2019 - after spending last year with the Newcastle Knights.

The former Redcliffe Dolphins gun has returned to Queensland in the hope of securing a full-time NRL contract with the Gold Coast Titans.

“I had a few good years up here with Redcliffe and I have always liked the competition,” Hazard said.

“I got a call from Tweed coach Ben Woolf, who was previously my Queensland Under 20 coach.

“He said there was an opportunity to come up and spend pre-season with the Titans and play for Tweed Heads Seagulls in the Intrust Super Cup... I jumped at the opportunity to get back into an NRL pre-season."

Christian Hazard - Titans v Cowboys trial 2019
Christian Hazard - Titans v Cowboys trial 2019 ©Scott Davis

The Toowoomba-born half was last part of the Titans squad in 2014 and 2015, but failed to make his NRL debut after succumbing to several injuries over the two-year-period.

Hazard is currently on a train-and-trial contract with the Titans and has spent a gruelling pre-season with the Robina-based club.

“The Titans pre-season has been really tough," the 24-year-old said. 

“It’s been hard... Titans have a lot of depth in their halves, so there is a lot of competition.

“I’m just trying to stay injury-free and potentially get an opportunity with the Titans later in the year."

Christian Hazard 2015 Auckland Nines (Gold Coast Titans)
Christian Hazard 2015 Auckland Nines (Gold Coast Titans)

Hazard said he enjoyed his time at the Knights last year, after being picked up by the club after a breakout season with the Dolphins in the Intrust Super Cup in 2017, but was definitely glad to be back in Queensland. 

“I really enjoyed my time down in Newcastle,” Hazard said.

“I didn’t have the best of years in Intrust Super Premiership.

“However, it was a good experience being in an NRL system and learning what it takes to play at the elite level."

Christian Hazard - XXXX QLD Residents 2017
Christian Hazard - XXXX QLD Residents 2017 ©Scott Davis

Due to his commitments with the Titans, Hazard hasn’t spent as much time as he would have liked with the Seagulls to date, but has been impressed by young Seagulls captain Cheyne Whitelaw. 

“He is injured at the moment, but his talk and how he carries himself around the club has been really impressive,” Hazard said.

Hazard said he was hoping to lock down a position in the halves or at hooker, and was looking forward to linking up with Seagulls playmaker Lindon McGrady.  

“He is a great player and it will be great to partner up with him if I get the chance," Hazard said. 

Intrust Super Cup - Season Launch 2019
Intrust Super Cup - Season Launch 2019

Last year Tweed were boosted by the inclusion of Titans contingent AJ Brimson, Koni Hurrell, Bryce Cartwright, Kane Elgey, Brendan Elliot, and Leilani Latu.

Hazard said he was also looking forward to linking up with some of the Titans players in the Intrust Super Cup, including former Falcons half Ryley Jacks, who has been named to play for Tweed in their season opener against PNG Hunters.

“We have a strong squad at Tweed this year and it will be even better when we get a few of the Titans boys back in the mix,” Hazard said.

“There is a fair few guys who I’ve spent pre-season with and I’m keen on building combinations with these players throughout the season."