James intent on retaining Titans captaincy

Nov 9, 2017 - 5:54 AM Ryan James knows he must prove himself worthy of retaining the Gold Coast captaincy after incoming coach Garth Brennan declared the privilege was up for grabs in the off-season .

The aggressive forward has admitted he struggled with the responsibility, particularly at the back-end of the season when the club was dealing with poor on-field form and controversy off it.

But the 26-year-old is keen for another crack after what he described as a steep learning curve at the helm.

"It'd be great to (be captain again) as a local junior, but you have to earn it, so I'll put the hard preseason in and see if I can earn it," he said.

"I'm just going out there to lead the pack, put my best foot forward."

Players were pushed in an early morning fitness session on Wednesday, with NSW Origin hooker Nathan Peats impressive as he recovers from the shoulder surgery that cut short his 2017 season.

Peats was particularly vocal during the session, pushing the pace as some teammates visibly struggled in the first full field session of the preseason.

He, along with Jarrod Wallace, re-signed half-back Ashley Taylor and Kevin Proctor all shape as candidates for leadership roles.

James said he hadn't spoken to Brennan about the captaincy and wasn't sure exactly how it would be decided.

"I just take it as a challenge; obviously we've got some great leaders with Peatsy, Kevvy and Ash Taylor just re-signed for a long time, there's leadership potential in all of them," he said.

New faces on the Gold Coast included Newcastle discard Jack Stockwell and Brisbane recruits Jai Arrow and Jai Whitbread.

All three forwards are capable of playing through the middle, which could free James up to run wider in 2018.

"It'd be great to have that opportunity to play on the edge," James said of a potential positional switch next season.

Source: AAP

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