Beau Fermor had a breakout year which almost culminated in the bolter bagging a Maroons jersey, despite being part of a disappointing Titans side which failed to live up to expectations in 2022.
He ultimately fell short of representing Queensland, but he was selected in the extended squad which showcased how much the coach Billy Slater rated him.
Now, Fermor is using the lessons imparted to him by the legendary former fullback to attempt to crack the QLD side, while also leading a revival on the Gold Coast.
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Billy Slater offers some advice to Fermor
“Last season, I learned so much off Billy Slater about things I need to work on to be a better player and push for a spot in the Queensland team next year,” Fermor told AAP.
Fermor announced himself on the scene by showing his attacking capabilities on the line time and time again. In fact, his 11 tries this year was a team-high tally and was more than he scored in his previous two seasons in first grade combined.
He also recorded more linebreaks, offloads and tackles than ever before on the way to averaging over 100 running metres per game. The 24-year-old rapidly turning himself into an indispensable all-action backrower for his team.
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However, his constant involvement could sometimes have its drawbacks with Fermor making 25 errors during the season.
“I have a few errors in my game that I need to fix up,” he admitted.
“That is a discipline thing and just about focusing on holding the ball in contact.”
Fermor also missed 67 tackles across his 23 matches, which Slater identified as a key area of improvement, if he is to force his way into Origin calculations in the future.
“There were a couple of things in defence and just my mentality around the game that Billy wanted me to work on,” he said.
“I have been working on that in the pre-season and hopefully I can bring it out next year.”
Fermor became vital in attack for the Gold Coast Titans
After making his debut in round eight two years ago, the Dalby Devils product has firmly established himself as one of the first names on the team sheet each week for Gold Coast coach Justin Holbrook.
At the start of the year, Fermor spoke about how this was his aim after impressing during a few matches in his preferred position at the backend of the 2021 campaign.
Throughout David Fifita’s struggles to replicate the type of performances that saw him rocket to being the most sought-after forward in the game, Fermor kept ticking along and claimed a starting role on the left in round one.
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He remained there all year, while showcasing how remarkably consistent and durable he was by failing to finish the full match just once all season.
He became an integral member of the side, with the playmakers continually looking for him to carve out an opportunity in attack with his powerful running and great lines.
‘It is a dream to play for my state and country’
Fermor’s form was so impressive, he was rewarded with selection in the Australian Prime Minister’s XIII at the end of the NRL season.
This taste of representative action – the Aussie side battered Papua New Guinea in the World Cup warm-up match – left him hungry for more.
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“I know it wasn’t the top gun Australian team but just to pull on those colours was such a great opportunity and something I was excited about,” he said. “It is a dream to play for my state and country.”
Although if Fermor is to achieve his dreams of representing his state and country, he will firstly need to help the Titans bounce back into finals contention, while also improving upon the high standards he set for himself.
“It was disappointing last season,” he said.
“We have got to prove we can be top-eight contenders and prove we can play consistently in the finals every year.
“I must back up the form I’ve shown and go better.”