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The Gold Coast Titans have further bolstered its? forward pack with today?s signing of Panthers second rower Frank Puletua.
Puletua has signed a two year deal with the club and joins an already formidable group of forwards in Luke Bailey (Dragons) Anthony Laffranchi (Tigers) Luke Swain (Penrith) Brad Meyers (Bradford) Nathan Friend (Storm) Luke O?Dwyer (Eels).
Puletua said, ?I am excited to be coming up to a new club that looks very professional. My time at the Panthers has been great and the fans and players have always been supportive but I can?t wait to play for the Titans.?
Puletua?s departure from the Panthers is tinged with sadness for both club and player. Retaining the 28 year old under the salary cap was unachievable for the Panthers.
Panthers General Manager Mick Leary said, ?The club believes Frank has been consistently one of our best forwards this season and unfortunately due to salary cap reasons the club is unable to retain Frank?
Titans Head Coach John Cartwright said, ?It?s unfortunate for Penrith that Frank became a salary cap issue for them but there?s always a positive side to this type of situation and we are the winners in this case. I know Frank very well from my time at Penrith and I know he?s had mixed emotions about leaving the club. From my point of view he is everything I look for in a footballer ? he?s dedicated, a leader, he?s disciplined and a great man to have around the younger guys in the club. He?s a tradesman, he?s mobile, he?s got a great offload and plenty of game time in him?
Puletua has been coached by Cartwright before, the reunion a factor in Puletua?s decision to move north.
Puletua said, ?One of the positives for me in making the decision was to be able to play under Carty (Head Coach John Cartwright ) again. I enjoyed his coaching while he was at the Panthers and the chance to play under him is something I am really looking forward to. I have been really happy with my current form and I think I can continue that at the Titans with the staff they have on board to assist the players.?
Titans Managing Director Michael Searle is excited by Frank?s interest and willingness to become involved in the Gold Coast community using his talents off the field as a graphic designer.