THE Gold Coast's own rugby league royalty will remain crowned for a further five years after the Titans yesterday secured the indispensable signature of co-captain Scott Prince.
Despite having a year left on his current contract, the 29-year-old yesterday signed with his beloved blue and gold until the end of 2014, essentially making the representative half-back a Titan for life.
The Mount Isa product, who has played 41 games for the Titans and is the club's leading points scorer with 172 points, said he was excited about the prospect of playing out his career in a Titans jersey.
“I've been here from when it started with the Titans, and the thought of retiring here excites me; I've got the opportunity to do that now,” he said.
“It has been special to be a part of something new and I'm looking forward to playing a role in building a culture that will live on at the club.
“Knowing that the family is happy on the Gold Coast was also a factor, because they are loving the lifestyle here and the people are great.”
Prince heads a list of key players who have been signed by the club well into the future, including fellow co-captain Luke Bailey and representative backrower Anthony Laffranchi.
“I'm really excited about the team we're gathering here, and think that we can go a long way to making a bit of history,” Prince said.
“I'm happy with the direction we're heading and that stems from the coaching staff right through to the players; they are a great bunch of blokes and I love playing alongside them.”
Elated Titans managing director Michael Searle said that securing the services of the club's inaugural captain and key playmaker for such an extended period of time will provide a significant boost for the club.
“We have secured an important piece of the puzzle for our club ... he is a young man that leads our club with distinction, and is the ultimate professional in everything he does,” Searle said.
“Scott has been an integral member of the Titans since day one and was one of our key signings before the club was even up and running.
“Given Scott's standing in the game, his decision to re-sign gives the club important stability for the future both on and off the field.”
The Titans are now expected to switch their attention to retaining veteran full-back Preston Campbell, who remains on a year-by-year contract.
Prince believes he can now take his game to another level in an ominous warning to representative rival John- athan Thurston.
He said his form would only improve as a result of his re-signing yesterday - hardly music to the ears of em- battled halfback Thurston.
Prince is placing plenty of pressure on Thurston to retain the Australian half-back role for the May 8 Anzac Test in Brisbane, especially after leading the Titans to a last-round win over the Cowboys.
Thurston appears frustrated by the “quality rather than quantity” attacking role given to him by new coach Neil Henry. To boot, the Cowboys have slumped to a 1-4 season start.
In contrast, Prince has made a seamless return from injury in a Gold Coast side sitting pretty in second on the NRL ladder.
“That (Test half-back) is always going to be talked about and debated about, but I'd like to think I am enjoying my football now,” Prince said.
“And with the signing of a new contract and ruling out the opportunity to go else- where it makes me feel settled. I'd always like to think that there is improvement in my game.”
Prince will be 34 when his Titans contract expires.
But he said watching the likes of Dragons veteran Wendell Sailor (35 in July) and Titans teammates Mat Rogers (33) and Preston Campbell (31) enjoy a second wind convinced him he could only get better.
“It does (inspire). I've watched Matty and even Preston Campbell playing some outstanding footy in their early 30s,” Prince said.