Tino Fa’asuamaleaui
Gold Coast captain Tino Fa'asuamaleaui requires a knee reconstruction in a huge blow for the Titans. Image by Mark Evans/AAP PHOTOS
  • rugby league

Titans prop Fa’asuamaleaui out for season with torn ACL

Joel Gould March 24, 2024

Gold Coast captain Tino Fa’asuamaleaui will miss the rest of the season after scans confirmed he tore his anterior cruciate ligament against Canterbury on Saturday.

The Titans confirmed the 24-year-old representative prop had scans in Sydney on Saturday night after the side’s 32-0 loss and a further analysis by a club doctor on Sunday morning reinforced the worst possible news.

Fa’asuamaleaui, the team’s best player, was assisted from the field in the 66th minute at Belmore after his right knee twisted when he was carrying the football.

The injury has left the Titans in a dire situation after their winless start to the season, which includes a 28-4 loss to St George Illawarra where Fa’asuamaleaui ran for 182 metres and made 28 tackles in a standout display in a badly beaten team.

Tino Fa’asuamaleaui
 Fa’asuamaleaui’s injury also leaves a void in Queensland’s State of Origin team. Image by Mark Evans/AAP PHOTOS 

“There is no doubt Tino is a big part of this team and club and will leave a big hole but we are going to have to have a next-man-up mentality and do our best,” Titans assistant coach Jim Lenihan told AAP.

The Titans have already had an injury-ravaged start to the season with fullback Jayden Campbell (patella) and second-rower David Fifita (torn pectoral) yet to play in the NRL.

Campbell returned to action on Saturday in the Queensland Cup with Tweed Heads and could be available for the round four NRL clash with the Dolphins on Saturday at Robina.

“JC got through 40 minutes for Tweed so we will see how he pulls up in the next couple of days and where his knee is at,” Lenihan said.

In a positive development, Queensland powerhouse Fifita trained the past fortnight without a pink no-contact bib after he tore a pec at training in December.

“Dave is certainly getting fitter so hopefully he is not too far away,” Lenihan said.

Campbell and Fifita will add strike power to the Titans but Fa’asuamaleaui is the side’s spiritual leader, and for far too long has carried the team on his back.

His loss is a devastating blow to the Titans’ finals hopes and leaves coach Des Hasler with a massive void in what has already been a most underwhelming start to the season. 

The injury is also a dagger in the heart of the Maroons ahead of this year’s State of Origin series – the Titans skipper has played 12 consecutive Origin matches in which the Maroons have won three series.

His setback comes on the back of Queensland also losing Dolphins forward Tom Gilbert to a season-ending ACL injury.

Titans CEO Steve Mitchell backed Fa’asuamaleaui to fight his way back to the playing arena.

“It is unfortunate but Tino is dedicated. As an athlete  you wouldn’t meet anyone who works harder,” Mitchell told AAP.

“He will absolutely work his way back to his best. 

“Tino is central to who we are and central to our future moving forward. He’s a great leader and a great young man.”