Copley relieved to finally make Titans debut

Dale Copley during a Gold Coast Titans training session at Cbus Super Stadium.
Dale Copley during a Gold Coast Titans training session at Cbus Super Stadium. DAVE HUNT

WHILE Jason Taumalolo is celebrating the longest deal in NRL history, Dale Copley is happy to just be preparing for his first game in Titans colours.

Copley, who has been named at centre to face the Cowboys on Saturday night, is at his third NRL club in less than 18 months through no fault of his own.

Having come through the grades at the Brisbane Broncos, Copley was regarded as one of the most popular players among his teammates at Red Hill.

When James Roberts came on to the market in late 2015, Broncos coach Wayne Bennett told Copley he was no longer required.

The Roosters threw Copley a lifeline, but he managed just 14 NRL games for the Tricolours last year because of a serious pectoral injury.

Then the moment Copley didn't see coming arrived when Roosters coach Trent Robinson told him he was free to leave Bondi after only one season of a three-year deal.

It took four months, and an injury crisis, for the Titans to strike an agreement with the Roosters to bring Copley to the Gold Coast immediately.

"I had my days," Copley said of the uncertainty surrounding his future.

"I knew I was going to have a footy season to play. I didn't know what colours I'd wear or where that would be, but I knew I was going to be playing somewhere. I had some days where I struggled a bit but I'm just glad it's happened now."

Fans bemoan a lack of loyalty by players, but clubs can be just as quick to move them on if they no longer fit.

"It's frustrating but that's sort of where the NRL has gone the last 12 months, two years," Copley said of his multiple moves.

"There have been a lot of mid-year transfers.

"Whether that's a good thing or not I don't know, but it's certainly where the game's going so you've got to wrap your head around that as a player.

"It's been a business for quite a while."

The Titans and Roosters were at a stalemate around the terms of Copley's transfer until injuries forced the Gold Coast into action last week.

It coincided with an injury to Roosters centre Blake Ferguson that could have resulted in Copley being promoted to the top grade, but he knew the Titans move was best for his future.

"This was always the goal for me, to get here, so I pursued that more than anything down there because I knew that would be short-term," he said.

News Corp Australia