He played for the Tigers, before moving to the Titans, and now, after several years with the club, second-rower Anthony Laffranchi has made the decision to leave the Jetstar Gold Coast Titans, to play with St Helens in the ESL.

Laffranchi, who was one of the first players signed by the Titans in their inaugural 2007 season, plans to finish his playing career with the ESL club, after accepting a 2-year deal that starts during the 2012-13 season.

In light of this, upon the completion of his ESL contract, Laffranchi has been offered a position by the Gold Coast Titans, which is expected to be a coaching and development role in the Northern Rivers area.

Titans CEO Michael Searle said that whilst the club were intent on keeping the 30-year old at the club, they simply could not compete with the money being offered by St Helens.

“We’re really excited for Anthony and his family being given this opportunity. We wish him well and the relationship between our club and Anthony will remain strong,’’ said Searle.

“On his return back to the Gold Coast at the end of his playing career, we see Anthony joining the club in a capacity in game development and working in Northern NSW which is his homeland.

“Boof’ was one of the first players we ever signed, he’s a local boy – we both went to the same school – so I see him as an important part of the fabric of this club long-term.

“It would have been nice for him to finish his career here but sometimes those things aren’t always achievable. That’s disappointing for all of us but that’s the reality, we’ve got to make decisions sometimes that we don’t like making but that’s what our jobs are.’’

Laffranchi says that he is leaving on good terms with the club, and is pleased that he has a role for when he comes back, to help the club he helped become bigger and better.

“I’m looking forward to the opportunity of taking my young family over to the UK in the short-term, but I’m really looking forward to the long-term prospect of coming back and working for this great club that hopefully I helped build up over the last few years,’’ said Laffranchi, who has played for Australia (5 Tests), NSW (4 games) and Country (4 games).

“I always said coming through when I first started playing NRL that I’d like to give back to the game what I get out of it so I think being a local junior from the area, I can definitely relate to some of the kids coming through the system.’’

In the view of Titans coach John Cartwright, he says that it is the reputation of Laffranchi both on and off the field, that has also helped shape the reputation of the club.

“It is a big loss. We’ve been talking to ‘Boof’ about this for a while and had some lengthy heart-to-hearts on it. I was in a very similar situation myself as a player and a lot of things come into it,’’ said Cartwright.

“As far as ‘Boof’ leaving goes, it’s much more than what he brings on the field. He’s been a very important part of what we’ve been able to set-up off the field and how our club is viewed by our supporters and the rugby league community in general has a lot to do with those four or five guys that signed at the very start.’’

By ricky

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