Carter Gordon's huge middle finger to Wallabies in NRL code switch to Gold Coast Titans

Gordon will join the Titans from next season in a fresh blow to Australian rugby.

You have to wonder how many more hits Australian rugby can sustain. Wallabies fly-half Carter Gordon's switch to the NRL with the Gold Coast Titans is a huge slap in the face for a code reeling from years of disastrous on-field results, financial ruin off it and a massive drop in public support and popularity.

Now they've lost one of their brightest young talents, who only made his Wallabies debut last year and was part of Eddie Jones' debacle of a World Cup campaign. That a 23-year-old with just eight Tests under his belt could see no future in Australian rugby is a damning statement.

The Titans have signed Wallabies five-eighth Carter Gordon from next season in another huge blow to Australian rugby. Image: Getty
The Titans have signed Wallabies five-eighth Carter Gordon from next season in another huge blow to Australian rugby. Image: Getty

Even more so when you consider Gordon's first game for the Titans will be his first game of rugby league. Factor in he will be giving up a tour to Australian by the British and Irish Lions and, most likely, a home World Cup and it's a massive middle finger to where rugby in this country is at.

This is not a kid who grew up an NRL tragic and wanted to test himself in a game he loves. Nor is it a cash grab, with Rugby Australia and the Titans both tabling deals around $300,000 per season.


Gordon is turning his back on rugby - the code he's played all his life - less than 12 months after representing his country. The demise of the Melbourne Rebels played some part in his decision but it's hard to recall a more stunning exit from a young player with his best years ahead of him.

The optics are terrible. The fact a former Wallaby – albeit one with strong rugby league ties – in Mat Rogers both proposed and endorsed Gordon's code switch just adds to the pain.

“I have been watching Carter play all year (and) I think he could be a great rugby league player," Rogers, a former Titan, told Stan Sport. "He is a great ball-runner, he has a big body, good footwork, great hands. Once he understands the fundamentals of the game and the position of his team, he’ll be good.

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 14:  Mat Rogers of the Titans passes the ball during the round 23 NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the North Queensland Cowboys at Skilled Park on August 14, 2010 on the Gold Coast, Australia.  (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)
Former Gold Coast Titans playmaker Mat Rogers believes it is the right move for Carter Gordon.

"I spoke to (Titans general manager) Anthony Laffranchi on Friday night and said, ‘If you can get him, he’ll be a good buy’. Put him at No.6 outside a good halfback and give him time to develop…he’ll have Dessie there, he'll have Foz [Kieran Foran] around to work with him.

"The one thing he'll find harder is the cardio aspect of it, and probably the physicality of it. I will put my hand up to help him if he needs a hand." It's Rugby Australia most in need of help.