Titans give Cartwright licence to thrill

Laine Clark
Gold Coast coach Garth Brennan is looking forward to being wowed by new recruit Bryce Cartwright

His playmaking days may be behind him but Bryce Cartwright has still been given a licence to thrill on the Gold Coast.

Coach Garth Brennan says the Titans be will out to entertain in 2018 and believes their best chance is unleashing ex-Penrith star Cartwright as a roaming back-rower.

Cartwright, 23, officially began life as a Titan with his first training session on Friday after a shock exit from the Panthers with three years left on his deal.

Cartwright believed he had been pigeonholed as a half at Penrith and needed a fresh start in the back row after a nightmare 2017 marred by injury and off-field controversy.

Brennan will happily grant his wish.

The rookie first-grade coach has been a fan and friend since he blooded Cartwright as a 16-year-old for the Penrith under-20s team.

Now the Titans mentor can't wait to let Cartwright loose in the Gold Coast back row.

"I don't want to embarrass him but there are things in his game where people just stand back and say 'wow'," Brennan said.

"That's exciting for me.

"Rugby league is an entertainment business, it's about playing exciting football like Bryce can play, and we will entertain.

"Obviously there are some negatives at times with that but he has to wear that because he can do what not too many others can."

Cartwright shut down rumours of a rift with Penrith coach Anthony Griffin but did not deny a bromance with Brennan.

"The biggest thing about Garth that I love is that he is passionate," Cartwright said.

"He's the type of coach you want to go out there and fight for.

"I can't speak highly enough of him. That was the biggest driving factor.

"I play my best footy under him. I really want to work hard for him."

Cartwright said he was now in a "good space" and ready to fire for the Titans.

"Last year was a rough year, injury-wise as well," Cartwright said, hinting at his off-field controversies.

"I played every minute of 2016 then the next year there was all that other stuff and I got injured which was probably the worst part of it.

"But now I am fully fit and healthy now and ready for a big season."