As South Sydney continue to push for Jai Arrow’s immediate release from the Gold Coast, Titans forward Kevin Proctor has called for the club to keep hold of their key forward as long as possible.
Gold Coast forward Kevin Proctor has urged the club to not release Rabbitohs recruit Jai Arrow as negotiations around the Queensland Origin star’s departure from the Titans stalled.
Arrow has signed a four-year contract with South Sydney from 2021, but discussions have been occurring for him to make an immediate move to Redfern.
The Rabbitohs and Titans have discussed a number of player swap scenarios, with the Gold Coast offered at least four players in exchange for Arrow.
None of the options have been palatable to the Titans, who are chasing a blue-chip player to replace the departing Maroons forward.
Arrow, 24, has distanced himself from the discussions, insisting he is indifferent about who he plays for this year and is happy to honour his 2020 Titans contract if that is the case.
Titans recruitment chief Mal Meninga this week admitted Arrow was arguably the Gold Coast’s best player and the club is reluctant to let him walk without a suitable replacement.
Arrow has continued to train with the Titans since committing to Souths pre-Christmas and coach Justin Holbrook has him slated to be in his starting side when the NRL season begins in March.
Proctor will start in the back-row alongside Arrow and said the Gold Coast would be mad to release him this year.
“I don’t reckon they should do it, especially this late in the pre-season,” he said.
“I reckon it will be massive (if we lose him). Not just his playing ability, but he’s really good to have around the club.
“He’s a real team man and clubman. All the boys love him. He’s a really good player and an important player to our club.
“Everyone would be shattered if he does go. No one really wants him to go next year either.
“Hopefully he can stick it out this year with us.”
The Titans have been holding out hope they can secure rising Storm star Tino Fa’asuamaleaui this season after signing him to a three-year deal from 2021.
The Storm are also reluctant to let Fa’asuamaleaui go without having a replacement player lined up and have been involved in three-way discussions with the Rabbitohs.
While a deal to release Arrow has yet to be struck, the NRL player market is fast-moving beast and the situation could change rapidly.
In the meantime, Proctor said Arrow had shown no signs he wanted to leave the Gold Coast immediately.
“I haven’t noticed anything at all,” he said.
“He’s still pretty bubbly around the club and energetic. He hasn’t really changed too much.
“I’m hoping he doesn’t go.”