Proctor tips big second years for Brimson and Fotuaika

Kiwi international Kevin Proctor has been buoyed on his return to Titans training this week by the presence of one of the biggest forwards in the NRL and the development of two of the club's brightest stars.

Former Canberra prop Shannon Boyd, who stands at 194cm and weighs in at 122kg, looms as the biggest forward the Titans have ever fielded while fullback/half AJ Brimson, 20, and prop Moeaki Fotuaika, 19, announced themselves last year as representative players of the future. 

"Shannon Boyd is a Test player. I think he brings that size to pour pack that we have kind of lacked in the last couple of years," Proctor said.

"I never really liked tackling him so it is good to have him on our side. I'm looking forward to playing with the big fella.

"The two young guys that kicked it off for us last year was Moe and AJ and they are looking really good. I am really excited to play with them again this year. I think they'll kill it."

Titans five-eighth AJ Brimson.
Titans five-eighth AJ Brimson. ©Scott Davis/NRL Photos

Brimson, on his way back from shoulder surgery, has started training with the full squad and ran at five-eighth on Thursday on the left side with Bryce Cartwright and Tyrone Peachey alongside him.

The Queensland under 20s representative is not yet doing full contact and will race the clock to be ready for the round one clash with the Raiders.

Boyd's arrival to join middle forwards Ryan James, Jarrod Wallace and Jai Arrow is set to give coach Garth Brennan a challenge at the selection table.

The quartet may not all be able to start unless James, who is the most versatile of the four, shifts into the back row to play alongside Proctor.

The development of firebrand Keegan Hipgrave, who was utilised by Brennan on the edge last year, will also keep the heat on.

Cartwright has hit the ground running and at his best would be a candidate to start in the second row, while Peachey is also an option.

That means Proctor cannot afford to rest on his international reputation, not that he intends to take his position for granted.

"You never really think like that. You get the young guys that push you and it is healthy competition," he said.

"When you see one of those young guys try and take your spot you try and flog them at the next training session.

"Everyone is buying in to what Garth is trying to bring here. Everyone looks like they are flying at the moment. We have got heaps of exciting new faces in there."

Proctor also noted the revamped Titans training staff with new head of performance Dan Ferris, strength and conditioning coach Joel Grech and ruck defence consultant Luke Phillips all on board.

"It is a breath of fresh air. The new staff have been great and are obviously getting the most out of the boys. The boys look as fit as,"  he said.

Moeaki Fotuaika launches himself at the Roosters.
Moeaki Fotuaika launches himself at the Roosters. ©Shane Myers/NRL Photos

Proctor predicted the presence of new head of culture and performance Mal Meninga would also lift the Titans as they target a return to finals football.

"I met him yesterday and he can only be good for the club. He is bringing in that culture and all the races we've got here together and making us build those relationships," he said.

"When you've got strong relationships in the side I suppose you want to play for each other a bit more."

Proctor said he had also received a boost from his return to the New Zealand side against Australia and England after an 18-month absence.

"That was awesome to be back in that side and put the jersey back on again," he said.

"You don't really know what you've got until you've lost it. To beat Australia in front of our home crowd in New Zealand was a big moment for me and a proud moment for my family.

"That tour was probably the most enjoyable tour I've been on. Madge [Michael Maguire] is doing a great job with the new staff and the direction he is taking the Kiwi jersey."