Titans teen Pahulu happy to mix it with the 'big boys'

Josiah Pahulu has gone Tino Fa'asuamaleaui hunting as the Gold Coast teenager eyes an NRL debut next season.

The 19-year-old, elevated to the Titans' top-30 squad this season, has wowed fellow prop Moeaki Fotuaika in the few weeks they've spent together at Parkwood under new coach Des Hasler.

Origin prop Fotuaika is only 24, while club captain Fa'asuamaleaui won't reach that milestone until February next year.

But the pair are already feeling like grizzled veterans as they take the best hits of Pahulu, who arrived on the Gold Coast a history maker as captain of Ipswich State High's first Queensland and national schoolboys premiership sides.

"He's come out of school and going good, mixing it with the big boys like Tino," Fotuaika said on Monday.

Josiah Pahulu is tackled by Brisbane Broncos players.
Josiah Pahulu (c) makes his presence felt for the Titans in 2023's pre-season challenge v Brisbane.

Listed at 104kg, Pahulu was named 18th man for Gold Coast's final game of the 2023 campaign. 

In the Titans system since 2019 and in his second NRL pre-season at the club, the teenager has done everything in his power to impress Hasler with spots up for grabs in 2024.

"He's not as big as Tino, but he's mixing it and ripping in," Fotuaika said.

"It keeps me on my toes; reminds me of myself when I was younger and I know how they feel."

Fotuaika said Hasler's ability to manage the squad and oversee a high-detail program, had impressed him.

"He's really intense, but he has those personal relationships," the prop said.

"He brings the best out of each player;  knows whether to give you a spray or a few tips.

"And he's really detailed with everything; it's what we need as a young team."

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