Jai Arrow has told Gold Coast he will take up a lucrative four-year NRL deal with South Sydney from 2021.
Gold Coast are reeling after Queensland star Jai Arrow told the NRL club he ha accepted a lucrative four-year South Sydney deal from 2021.
There is speculation that Arrow will seek an early release and make his Rabbitohs debut in 2020.
But it is believed the Titans expect the star forward to see out the final year of his contract with the reigning wooden spooners.
The Rabbitohs have reportedly signed Arrow on a $3.2 million contract after identifying the 24-year-old as an ideal replacement for retired captain Sam Burgess.
Gold Coast had been quietly confident that Arrow would sign a contract extension after the Maroons forward repeatedly indicated his preference was to remain on the tourist strip with the Titans.
However, Gold Coast’s worst fears were realised when Arrow told new Titans coach Justin Holbrook and head of performance and culture Mal Meninga that he would link with the Bunnies in 2021.
The Titans are devastated after tabling what they believed was their best offer to Arrow, reportedly a three-year $1.8m contract.
It is understood Arrow was keen to stay on the Gold Coast but the big money Rabbitohs deal and a chance to reunite with his former Brisbane coach, seven-times premiership winner Wayne Bennett, proved too tempting to knock back.
Gold Coast’s only consolation is that they have cover for Arrow’s loss after recently signing Melbourne youngster Tino Fa’asuamaleaui on a three-year deal from 2021 believed to be worth $2m.
Arrow – who has played four State of Origin games for the Maroons – will have big shoes to fill when he arrives at Redfern.
He is expected to fill the void left by English great Burgess who was forced to retire at the end of the 2019 season due to a shoulder injury.