Boyd arrival brings big change to Titans
HE has been studying the every move of new teammate Shannon Boyd but Titans forward Max King says his biggest lesson is still to come.
On the comeback from a shoulder reconstruction that restricted his 2018 campaign to 12 games, rising middle forward King has spent much of pre-season soaking up the experience of Canberra recruit and former Test prop Boyd.
The pair are among a logjam of forwards fighting for spots in the Gold Coast pack for Round 1 against the Raiders on March 17, with trial games against North Queensland (February 23) and Brisbane (March 2) likely to be a selection factor.
Eager to continue his own development, King, 21, said those looming pre-season outings would give him another first-hand look at the qualities that carried Boyd to four Kangaroos appearances in 2016.
"Shannon's been great," King said of the 26-year-old who joined the club from Canberra.
"Having him around training, he's something else. In the gym and with physicality, he's something else so it has been great training against him and developing as a player.
"I do get tips off people like him and Dark (captain Ryan James) who have been around for a while, but I think the best thing is just playing with them and against them and comparing what makes them so much better.
"Obviously with Boydy, there is an intent there (at training) as well with how he goes into tackles but I think you probably learn the most when you're in the deep end playing with and against them rather than just having a conversation about it."
A graduate of the Titans' under-20s team, King has played 29 games at the top level after making his debut in the third round of 2017.
But with a pack boasting representative forwards Boyd, Kevin Proctor, Jarrod Wallace and Jai Arrow, the Hunter Valley product knows he has a fight on his hands to make coach Garth Brennan's side for the season opener.
"Obviously the first (goal) is being in that 17. Competition (for spots) is the strongest in the three years I've been here so it makes for a strong 2019 campaign," King said.
"I think we will surprise a lot of people this year. I want to be in that 17 and really contributing to the team, not just another number, and being part of a great team year.
"Everything is going really well, (the injury) gave me the opportunity to gain a couple of kilos and come back strong into pre-season. I'm back doing full contact now and I'm really looking for a good year."