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WINGMAN: Don stays put despite Hayne exit

UP THERE WITH THE BEST: Storm player Billy Slater fails to stop Titans player Anthony Don scoring a try during the Round 10 NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and the Gold Coast Titans at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, in May this year.
UP THERE WITH THE BEST: Storm player Billy Slater fails to stop Titans player Anthony Don scoring a try during the Round 10 NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and the Gold Coast Titans at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, in May this year. DAVE HUNT

RUGBY LEAGUE: Anthony Don has cemented himself as one of the best wingers in the NRL, and that is where he is happy to stay.

Despite the imminent departure of Gold Coast Titans multi-million dollar man Jarryd Hayne to the Parramatta Eels, Don said he will not put his hand up to move to fullback - a position he played almost all of his junior football in.

Don held the NRRRL record for most tries in a single season playing at fullback for the Grafton Ghosts, and has been lethal in his ability to find the line since joining the Titans' ranks in 2012.

But after his best season for the club in 2017, a year in which he was named Titans Player of the Year, Don is happy to remain on the right wing.

"I think I am pinned down as a winger now and I am happy with that,” he said. "I enjoy being on the wing; it is what I specialise at.

"Hopefully, I can continue my form into next season and I can continue to perform for the team.”

Rumours had been swirling about Hayne's defection - despite a hefty $1.2-million contract for next season - for a number of months now but Don said the team had not bought into the speculation.

"We haven't really been paying much attention to it,” he said. "Jarryd's decision is Jarryd's decision and we are just looking forward to having those international blokes back when the World Cup wraps up.

"We have been back at pre-season for about four weeks now and we have been focussing on training hard and ripping in to the off-season.”

The 30-year-old winger has not gotten a chance to get into his own training too much after undergoing shoulder surgery at the season's end.

Don injured his shoulder in the Titans' second round clash against Newcastle Knights last season and expects to be 100-per cent fit by early January.

Despite his lack of physical involvement, the winger has noticed a big change at the club since the arrival of new coach Garth Brennan.

"Things around the club are a lot different, there is just a different energy,” he said. "Garth brings a different style of coaching and different style of drills to pre-season.

"All the boys are really ripping in, and I'm just spewing I can't be out there alongside them.”

Brennan is not the only new face at the Titans ahead of the 2018 season with former Eels stalwart and under-20s coach Luke Burt joining as assistant coach.

With over 260 first grade games under his belt, Don said he looked forward to learning from the former Eel.

"He was an outstanding winger and fullback during his career and anything I can learn off him will be great,” Don said.

"He has only been here for the week, but I have plenty of time for that.”

Don's contract with the Titans is set to expire at the end of 2018, but the winger said he expects it will sort itself out.

"I have got to come back and play good footy and put the performances out on the field and the contract should sort itself out from there,” he said.

"My main focus is to let my on-field actions do the talking.”

Topics:  anthony don clarence league gold coast titans jarryd hayne nrl rugby league



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