“He always brings that spark, he’s a great player and you can chuck him pretty much anywhere in the backline…”
- By Connor O’Brien | Gold Coast Bulletin
NENE Macdonald is adamant the Gold Coast are better with David Mead on board as rival clubs eye off the Titans winger.
Off-contract Mead, who has made no secret of his desire to play fullback, is reportedly attracting interest from the English Super League and NRL outfits including Manly.
The Titans have spoken with Mead’s management but are yet to strike a deal.
Macdonald is hopeful his Papua New Guinea teammate will extend his tenure on the Coast beyond this year.
“I’m hoping he sticks around but I’m not sure,” he said. “If he stays, it would be really good for the team.
“He always brings that spark, he’s a great player and you can chuck him pretty much anywhere in the backline. He is a very professional player, not only on the field but off the field.”
Mead, 27, has been on the sidelines since injuring his knee during the Gold Coast’s Round 10 win over Sydney but is expected to be back in the mix in time for the Titans’ away match against St George Illawarra on July 15.
Macdonald meanwhile is seeking to continue a good run of form when he marks up on Warriors danger man Tuimoala Lolohea in New Zealand on Saturday afternoon.
“Our left side have been working on defence and it has shown the last few weeks so it will be a good challenge for me, especially because he (Lolohea) has really good footwork,” he said.
Co-captain William Zillman’s return to the No.1 jersey means Macdonald will be reunited with regular left centre Josh Hoffman.
Aside from defensive improvement, the 22-year-old is increasingly becoming a force to be reckoned with in attack – especially as a target for cross-field kicks.
“I have been telling Ty (Roberts) and Ash (Taylor), always telling them to kick for me and I’ll try and get the job done for them,” Macdonald said.
“They have been really working on their kicking and obviously it has shown in the games.”
To go with his three tries in two weeks, Macdonald has averaged running 139m per game since returning from a calf injury in Round 11 to help take pressure off the forwards.
“That has been a massive focus for me so far, if I’m playing wing just to get in there and take as many hit ups as I can so the forwards can finish their sets off and defensively help us out,” he said.