Titans pocket cheque book - for now

Written By Unknown on Senin, 21 Januari 2013 | 23.40

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Shifting focus ... Gold Coast search for Scott Prince's replacement. Source: Ribb Cox / AAP

The search for a halfback is about to begin in earnest at the Gold Coast Titans.

But they reckon they have put away the cheque book after their ill-fated swoop on Jamie Lyon.

Coach John Cartwright says the recent $3 million-plus play for Manly matchwinner Lyon showed they had the money to sign the NRL's elite.

However, coming trial matches would decide who would replace halfback Scott Prince (gone to the Broncos) and centre Beau Champion (South Sydney) after giving up on signing any more players ahead of the 2013 season.

"It (luring Lyon) was a business decision. If the right guy is on the market we are ready to talk,'' Cartwright said on Monday.

"We've got money in the bank to make an offer but it is not just going to be to anyone.

"Jamie is one of the best in the game so if he was available we would be silly not to have a go.''

Asked if the Titans had given up on him Cartwright said: "I would say so - if it was going to happen it would have been last week.

"It shows the club is deadly serious about putting the best side on the paddock but we will not go out willy nilly.''

Cartwright conceded the Titans were "a bit thin'' in the centres after both Lyon and Michael Jennings knocked back lucrative offers.

But he was confident they had the depth to cover the gaping hole left by ex-captain Prince.

He said Beau Henry, Albert Kelly and Jordan Rankin would vie for his No.7 jersey in the pre-season trials, starting against the New Zealand Warriors on February 9.

"They have worked as hard as each other at training but it's out on the field when it is competitive, that's when you get a better grasp, the trials will be very important for these guys,'' said Cartwright who is set to name his new captain this week.

"We have built a very good side around them (halves). If I was a young halfback I would love to be playing in this side.

"Now it is about someone going out there and grabbing that spot.''

Rankin believes the next Titans halfback has the chance to follow Rabbitohs sensation Adam Reynolds and become the next NRL success story.

"It's probably the elephant in the room at the moment - who is going to fill Scott Prince's spot?'' Rankin said.

"It was important that the club showed confidence in us young guys coming through and didn't shop around (for a halfback).

"The spot is now there to be taken. Adam Reynolds showed last year if you take your chance you can be anything.''

Cartwright did not believe the failure to replace Champion put added pressure on Jamal Idris to step up in the centres this season.

"We haven't kicked a ball yet,'' he said.

"But he is where we want him to be.

"He hasn't put a foot wrong. He will start fitter than he ever has.''

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