NRL: Commission committed to saving Titans outfit

Jamal Idris of the Titans. Photo / Getty Images
Jamal Idris of the Titans. Photo / Getty Images

The ARL Commission will stand by an NRL team on the Gold Coast, with beleaguered Titans managing director Michael Searle to be given first crack at saving the financially crippled club.

The Commission met in Auckland on Friday where they were handed a report into the Titans, which confirmed there was a strong business case for a team to remain on the holiday strip.

The Titans were plunged into financial crisis due to a series of failed investments by the group's property arm - most notably the Centre of Excellence.

Commission chairman John Grant said a number of options were still being considered in relation to providing financial aid to the club, but Searle would be given a chance to rescue the club.

"Michael Searle is pursuing a number of options in addressing that situation and it is important to remember that the Titans should have a chance to resolve their issues, as is their right,"Grant said.

"The ARLC restated today that the any significant financial support on its part would require significant restructuring of the club."

Also discussed in the meeting at the Warriors' Mt Smart Stadium offices was the issue of international player eligibility, which raised its head this week with New Zealand-born James Tamou's controversial decision to play for Australia.

There have been calls for the Rugby League International Federation to install hard and fast rules to determine eligibility, but in consultation with NZRL officials, the Commission said it was vital players retained the right to make decisions about their representative futures.

"Particularly in the case of Australian, New Zealand and Pacific Island players, there can be complex family situations and players who have lived substantial periods of their lives in each country," ARLC chief executive David Gallop said.

"It is an area that requires some understanding of the personal decisions the player faces."

There was no decision made on the future of the mid-year Test, with the NZRL expressing its desire for the contest to remain.

The Commission is under pressure from NRL clubs to scrap the Test and City-Country matches to help avoid player burnout.

- AAP

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