The Gold Coast have landed the biggest recruitment raid in the club's history with Brisbane's David Fifita agreeing to terms on a multi-million dollar, three-year Titans deal.
Fifita has brought one of the more protracted signing sagas in recent times to an end by choosing the Broncos' southern rivals from 2021.
Titans head of culture Mal Meninga confirmed Fifita would be Gold Coast-bound on Saturday afternoon, after the Maroons forward told Broncos teammates earlier in the day that he would be leaving Red Hill at the end of 2020.
Both the Titans and Broncos have also confirmed the move.
"It's a great signing for the club," Meninga said on Fox League.
"With all humility and respect I think the Fifita family has handled it really well, Dave and his mum Gwen and all their family have handled tough circumstances. It's been played out in the media hasn't it? But it's a great acquisition for the club going forward."
Fifita continues to do the impossible
For the Titans the Fifita signing is one of the biggest in the club's 13-year history, and an emphatic endorsement of the turnaround beginning to take shape under rookie coach Justin Holbrook.
By the same token his exit from Red Hill is a hammer blow for Brisbane and comes after being thrashed 46-8 by Melbourne on Friday night.
Broncos CEO Paul White said it was "disappointing" to lose Fifita but added that the club had left no stone unturned to keep him.
"We have been in ongoing discussions, across more than 20 meetings, as we sought to find a way to keep David at the Broncos, where he has played some fantastic football in recent years," White said.
"At the same time we wanted to ensure we did not go beyond what was responsible for the good of the club and playing list as a whole.
"It’s disappointing to see David depart but we look forward to him returning to the field [from a knee injury] to finish out the season with the Broncos. We wish him all the best with his rugby league future.
"The Broncos are now in a strong position to look to the future to pursue other player recruitment opportunities.”
The Titans had increased their initial offer from more than $1 million for one year to more than $3 million over three years, while Brisbane also offered Fifita a three-year deal with a lower price tag.
Fifita's arrival at the Titans will be somewhat of a homecoming after he attended league powerhouse Keebra Park High School where he was captain of the National Championship winning side in 2017.
Head coach Justin Holbrook said he was "excited" to be welcoming a proven match-winning forward to the club of Fifita's standing.
Fifita, who made his NRL debut in late 2018, played in all three State of Origin matches for Queensland last year before representing the Prime Minister's XIII and Australia and the 2019 Rugby League World Cup 9s.
"As a coach we want to bring players to our club to improve the squad and David will definitely do that," Holbrook said.
"David already has a close connection with our club through some of our players which is an important element that I am looking for as we build this team."
Fifita's barnstorming long-range effort
Fifita is very close friends with Storm forward Tino Fa'asuamaleaui who is joining the club long term next season. They played together, along with Titans utility Tanah Boyd, in the Queensland under 18s team in 2018 and have come up through the junior representative ranks.
AJ Brimson is another good mate, as is his former Keebra Park High School colleague Moeaki Fotuaika.
Family and friends are front and centre in Fifita's life and the Titans believe the young group he is close to and knows so well can form a core of what they are hoping to be premiership contending sides of the future.
Add Fifita to the youthful brigade already secured and the Titans believe it can have a multiplier effect.
Gold Coast CEO Steve Mitchell hailed Fifita's signing.
"We are looking forward to getting to know the Fifita family," Mitchell said.
"Family is central to David's decision and it is a core piece of what we are building at the club.
"We wish David well for the rest of the season in Brisbane and for the State of Origin series to follow and can't wait to welcome him into our squad later this year."