Big names of the kilometer applaud the nomination of Titans of Mal Meninga


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MAL Meninga will be able to transfer many of his successful methods in shaking a Queensland State of Origin team culture to his new role in the Titans, field veterans say.

Meninga was announced last week in a role as Titans head of performance and culture while remaining coach Kangaroos.

Meninga has defined for his Queensland players in 2006 what would be the keys to becoming an Origin-winning team ahead of his nine-game winning streak in 10 years under his command.

At age 58, Meninga took on a major role in the game, which is not that of a coach, and pointed out last week that player responsibility was paramount in his strategy on the Gold Coast.

"I think it's a great idea. They were talking about him doing something similar in Canberra backstage," said Steve Walters, manager of the Queensland team since 2001 and a former team-mate of Meninga with Canberra, Queensland and Australia.

"As of 2006, Mal had a connection with the players about who they represented and the responsibilities that come with it.

media_cameraMal Meninga, a kangaroo coach, was named head of performance and culture for the Gold Coast Titans. Image: AAP




"That's a bit different, because the Titans do not have that amount of history, but I'm sure Evil will be about them making their own story, taking responsibility and not blaming others.

"These concepts are not just for representative teams. A lot of this was not new, but Evil has a great way to introduce it to players.

"It helps him to have his position in the game and also his physical size. People tend to listen more.

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Brent Tate, who played in five Meninga victories between 2006 and 2013, said Meninga asked the players in their first year with the Maroons how they "wanted to be seen by the Queensland crowd, which we represent as a team."

"Evil also brought us what it means to play in Queensland and as in 2006 we lost our history a little," said Tate.

media_cameraMal Meninga talks to Maroons team players from 2013. Image: Getty Images

"He gave a lot of importance to the milestones for the players in their careers and this has become a great thing for most of us. This can be done on the Titans too. "These things really boosted the culture of the Maroons in my opinion.

"I think Evil can succeed on it on the Titans and it's a really important commitment from the Titans."

The Gold Coast finished 14th in the first year of coach Garth Brennan and finished out of the top 10 in four of the last five seasons. The Titans made the final elimination in 2016.

"He will not be able to get around in a year and they're probably a big name for a big echelon," said Tate.

media_cameraFormer Queensland Origin star Brent Tate believes Mal Meninga could have a major impact on Gold Coast Titans.

"They have the result of this with Ash Taylor and a good crop of kids, but that takes time. They struggled a bit with identity, it's reasonable to say. Evil will help them to create an identity.

"Evil would tell us that we had to take our preparation, even small things like hydration, which add up to great things."

Walters said that Meninga's taste for a team environment was central to his ability to speak the language of the players.

"It's something he likes and he knows it's really important," Walters said.

"He's really genuine and honest about what he says to them – the players realize that."

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