Titans’ Holbrook holds no fear of NRL axe

Justin Holbrook says he doesn’t fear the threat of becoming the fourth NRL coach to be relieved of his duties as the Gold Coast aim to arrest an ugly run of form.

Holbrook’s side host South Sydney on Saturday aiming to take the heat off their head coach after a worrying slide that has brought his future under the microscope.

Earlier this week the Wests Tigers sacked Michael Maguire and Nathan Brown was shown the door by the Warriors. Canterbury axed Trent Barrett last month.


Holbrook, who got the Gold Coast to the finals last year, has tasted just two unconvincing wins in his past 10 games in charge.

One was a last-minute victory over the Wests Tigers, while the other was a golden point victory over St George Illawarra at NRL Magic Round.

Despite the axe falling on Brown and Maguire this week, Holbrook said he felt he had earned enough time to show he could turn the Titans around.

“I’m not (worried about my own job), I’m disappointed about how we are going,” he said.

“I feel horrible; we’re letting a lot of people down.

“There’s been a few other coaches who have unfortunately been moved on but I feel very privileged and lucky that we have had a conversation around where we’ve gone.

“Since I came in, we went from last to ninth and then ninth to eighth and you naturally just want to get better. I feel secure in what I’m doing.”

Holbrook put a lot of faith in a young spine this season. He moved AJ Brimson to five-eighth, deployed Jayden Campbell at fullback and opted for talented Toby Sexton at halfback.

Injuries to Campbell have forced the coach to adapt and with the lightweight flier picking up a hamstring complaint this week, Brimson will shift into the fullback role for the game with the Rabbitohs.

Holbrook, who confirmed Queensland Maroons forward Tino Fa’asuamaleaui would come off the bench after his exploits in Origin, has opted for Paul Turner to play at five-eighth.

Turner, 22 has played three NRL games since his debut at the Warriors in 2020.

The move will be Holbrook’s sixth spine combination this year, with the coach claiming Turner had earned his shot.

“He’s played terrific for Tweed (in Queensland Cup),” Holbrook said.

“He’s a very good footy player and he’s a natural with the ball in hand.”

© AAP 2022