Ahead of kickoff tonight, check out Rick Edgerton's preview of the second #Origin clash.
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The 22-year-old Bilambil junior, who has already tasted representative football with the Country Origin side as well as the Indigenous All Stars, has agreed to an extended three-year contract for seasons 2015-2017.
A product of the club’s Junior Pathways Program as a former Titans Under-18s and Under-20s representative, James made his NRL debut with the club in 2010 and has already made 43 NRL appearances despite suffering a serious knee injury in 2011.
James is also a star performer off the field at Griffith University where he is studying a Bachelor of Business and Sports Management.
iSelect Titans Chief Executive Officer Graham Annesley said the re-signing of James was a significant achievement for the future of the club.
“Ryan is an impressive young man both on and off the field,’’ said Annesley.
“He has already shown his potential in the NRL so it’s really exciting to be able to secure his services for another three years, particularly given he is a local junior.
“We have a great balance of experienced players and some young talent in our playing squad and Ryan is a big part of the future of this club.’’
iSelect Titans Coach John Cartwright said he believed James will be on the verge of playing State of Origin football for NSW in the coming years.
“It’s great that we’ve been able to retain a highly sought after local junior,’’ said Cartwright.
“Ryan is looking to establish himself as a starting front rower week-in and week-out and he started to do that towards the end of last year.
“He’s already tasted representative football and I’m sure if he continues to mature as a player, we will witness his best football in the years to come.
“He been one of the better performers in our squad over the pre-season and has given himself every opportunity to have a big year in 2014.’’
James said he was excited to be staying on the Gold Coast where his NRL career began.
“I’m a proud local junior and all my family is here so it’s great to be staying with the Titans and also to have my future sorted for the next few years,” said James.
“It was a pretty easy decision really as we’ve got a great team and a great club so I’m excited about what’s in store for us over the next few years.
“The Titans have helped me with my development on and off the field since I started with the club so I’m hoping to return the favour.’’