If the Gold Coast Titans are at all serious about dragging themselves out of the depths of rugby league obscurity and into a position to actually be respected by their fellow clubs then they simply must buy Robbie Farah.
That is step one.
Step two is to be dispassionately brutal about it at the negotiating table.
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Despite the fact that he is the incumbent NSW #9 and a premiership-winning legend of the Tigers with at least two good years left in him, there are perhaps four clubs likely to raise more than an eyebrow and show genuine interest at Farah’s services in 2016.
One is South Sydney, who have some cash and a hole in their hooking stocks thanks to the departure of Isaac Luke to the Warriors next season.
The second is Newcastle, who could use Farah to mentor their two young hookers in Clydesdale and Randell while still getting quality minutes out of the origin star.
A smokey would have to be Manly who despite signing Api Koroisau from Penrith to replace Matt Ballin, could foreseeably use Farah at rake and play Koroisau at second receiver alongside DCE.
The fourth club would be the Gold Coast Titans.
…and they need him more than the others combined.
More than any other club the Titans should know how quickly things can go wrong in the hooking department.
Just this season they had Matt Srama, Beau Falloon, Kieran Mosely AND Daniel Mortimer all on the mid-long term injured list.
The crisis was so bad they hurriedly signed Chad Redman from the Knights just to have a fit hooker for R15.
Falloon is being moved on in 2016, as is Srama, and Redman is as yet uncontracted for next season.
That leaves Moseley and bench utility Mortimer.
To bolster these stocks the Titans lured foundation hooker and beloved clubman Nathan Friend back for 2016, which frees Mortimer up to play predominantly Queensland Cup in 2016, filling in for the Titans should injury strike.
So Friend, and Moseley to start 2016 with Friend presumably enjoying the lions’ share of minutes and Moseley coming on for impact.
And here is where we get back to Farah.
On a back-ended contract at a club that no longer wants him, Farah could not be better poised to be picked up cheaply.
Lloyd Christmas could negotiate Farah to the Titans for $400,000 or less.
If the Titans can find that ideal ground just above what the other interested clubs are prepared to pay, and far below what the Tigers would like a club to pay it will rank as the club’s biggest recruitment coup ever.
Ever. Bar none.
If he only plays 12 games a season for two years it is still more than worth it, for the experience he will bring to the Titans young spine and the professionalism he would bring to what is still a very young club.
At his best Farah is in the top 10 players in the NRL, and the Titans could easily pick him up for $400k.
The footy gods have gifted the Titans a way to salvage the train-wreck that was season 2015.
Let us hope they are brave enough, brutal enough and smart enough to take it.
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