Rugby League Immortal and Australian Test Coach Mal Meninga has joined the Gold Coast Titans as the club’s business-wide, Head of Performance and Culture, to help drive a winning environment across the entire organisation.
Mr Meninga, named in July as the code’s 13th Immortal, will move to the Gold Coast from Canberra with wife Amanda and their three young children to join the Titans.
NRL CEO, Todd Greenberg, said a condition of the appointment was that Meninga’s national coaching duties would continue to have top priority.
“Mal is required throughout the year to promote the game, providing mentoring and assistance to young players and to assist with the elite level of the game,” Greenberg said.
“But since there are no Kangaroos matches until the end of the 2019 season he will have capacity to devote to the Titans’ role.
“It is crucial that we do all we can to protect and develop rugby league in the heartland of the Gold Coast and northern New South Wales and I have no doubt Mal will help achieve that.”
Dennis Watt, Executive Chairman of the Gold Coast Titans, said the club’s recruitment of Mr Meninga into such a senior and over-arching role would be a foundation stone for the Gold Coast’s new direction under the new ownership team of the Frizelle and Kelly families.
“To have someone like Mal Meninga, with everything that he has achieved in the game, be so excited about joining the Titans is a terrific show of faith and belief in the strength, leadership and potential of the Gold Coast,” Watt said.
“Mal was an outstanding player over his career with Brisbane Souths, Canberra, St Helens, Queensland and Australia.
“But what he has been able to achieve, and continues to achieve, in his coaching career with Queensland and Australia, shows that he is a master at creating winning cultures.
“He unifies and ensures a total buy-in from the people around him.”
Mr Meninga said he had jumped at the opportunity to join the Titans and to contribute to the growth and success of the club and to rugby league generally in northern New South Wales and Gold Coast.
“I can feel there is something special building at the Titans.
“The NRL needs rugby league and the Titans to be strong in the area.
“It is one of the game’s heartlands and it is no secret that it is under threat from rival codes who are investing heavily to own the territory.’
“I want to see all young kids in the Titans’ catchment area – boys and girls – growing up aspiring to play for the Titans, for their respective states and their country.”
Titans coach Garth Brennan said he was looking forward to working with Meninga to help build on the growing momentum within the club.
“Mal is a legend of the game and clearly has much to offer with his insights on leadership and winning cultures.
“He will be a great sounding board for myself and the coaching staff.”
Mr Meninga’s role would include helping to drive the commercial strength of the business as part of ensuring the Titans were competing on an equal footing with the heavyweight NRL clubs.