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Boyd’s secret weapon to winning Titans No. 7 battle

Tanah Boyd has shared his delight of Des Hasler’s arrival to the Gold Coast with the halfback vowing to learn as much as he can from the highly credentialled coach to secure the Titans No. 7 jersey for Round 1.

It comes as no surprise the self-confessed rugby league tragic wants to be a student under the two-time premiership-winning mentor, who is one of the most experienced mentors in the game, but it’s the 62-year-old’s time on the field the 60-game star wants to have as his secret weapon in his battle with Tom Weaver.

Hasler played 312 first grade games across 15 seasons before delving into coaching, winning two premierships with Manly as a skilful playmaker as well as representing New South Wales on 12 occasions alongside a dozen appearances for the Kangaroos as well.

It's this experience the Titans coach has in Boyd's role that he really wants to use to his advantage this pre-season.

"Already from just doing a little bit the other day, he's already picked up a few things with me and that's the good thing... he just lets you know straight away and he will show you," Boyd said.

"Even things you wouldn't even think about and for him to pick them up, it's pretty eye opening for me and it's exciting for me as well because I know how much I can develop under him and I've got so much to learn.

"He's so passionate and gets us going before trainings and just his detail is unbelievable and there's been so much coaching for us.

"I just can't wait to keep learning off him and he's been around for a very long time. He's seen it all."

Still easing back into training after shoulder surgery in August, the 23-year-old has returned to Parkwood in a two-way showdown for the halfback jersey after the rise of young gun Weaver at the backend of 2023.

Boyd played 21 games last season before going under the knife, which opened the door for the 20-year-old to make his debut and take the reigns in the final three games of 2023.

Whilst the more experienced No. 7 is likely to win over his protege, he hasn't dismissed his competition, instead welcoming the position battle.

"He's been training well Weaves... I've just got to come back in and show what I can do and and do my job, so that's what I'll do," Boyd said.

"I'm pretty focused on playing halfback. That's what I did last year and I want to just keep getting better and take us to the finals, but [the competition] is good though.

"You've got to have depth and you look at the good sides like Penrith... the guys that come in there, it's that next man up mentality and they do a job.

"You've got to have that to be successful and we've got blokes fighting for spots everywhere, so it's really good for us."

Boyd also feels his time away from the game has also made him even more hungry to take back the No. 7 jersey, spending his downtime in Hawaii and popping the all-important question to long-time partner Jacqueline.

"It was a good trip and a pretty special moment for me and my partner. It was also good to have all the family over there as well and getting to experience it with me," he said.

"You've got to switch off from footy and that's what the off-season is for. It just lets you get away and spend some good time with your family and it was definitely a great trip and I want to do more of it."

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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