Titans fullback AJ Brimson desperately wants to win back his Queensland Origin jersey but he is refusing to view Saturday’s showdown with Newcastle’s Kalyn Ponga as an early audition for the coveted Maroons No.1 spot.
The Gold Coast star replaced an injured Ponga in last year’s series opener, but after scoring on debut he missed the remainder of the series with a foot injury.
Now the young superstars are fighting for the No.1 jersey and Saturday’s clash at Cbus Super Stadium will give new Queensland coach Paul Green a chance to view both fullbacks in action as Ponga returns for the first time this season after shoulder surgery.
“Obviously with KP coming back he will be hungry to start the season and show what he can do,” Brimson said.
“It’s always good coming up against him, he is a good mate of mine so it’s always a bit funny. I hope we can get the win. I am glad to see him back out there.
“[Playing Origin] was an awesome experience, it was a dream come true and something that was good for my personal career and confidence so that is obviously another goal of mine again in the future.
Round 5 - Ponga and Taumalolo return, Grant in Storm 21
“[Origin selection] that’s not on my mind at the moment to be honest. I’m just trying to get as many wins as we can to start the year so the main goal this week is to get those two points.”
Brimson will play his 50th NRL game against the Knights and is confident the Titans can fix some of the small mistakes they’ve been making in attack to create enough points to beat Newcastle.
Winger Anthony Don dropped two balls over the line in last week’s loss to Canberra, but he’s not the only player who has missed golden try-scoring opportunities this season as the Titans’ ad-lib style of attack creates chances from anywhere on the field.
“The middles are doing an awesome job the first four weeks, we just need to repay them by finishing those tries off,” Brimson said.
“If they keep doing well we will keep putting ourselves in positions to win games.”
Interestingly the Titans halves have yet to record a try assist in 2021, with Brimson leading the way for the club with three ahead of Tyrone Peachey and Phil Sami with two each.
Marquee forward David Fifita has offered their greatest attacking threat, his line breaks and offloading causing headaches for the opposition, often from deep within the Titans' own half, and it's given Brimson a reason to follow the big man like a shadow.
“I just have to follow him, if he is not offloading to me he is making a break or offloading to someone else,” Brimson said.
“He is stronger and bigger and faster than I thought he was, it’s awesome to play with him.”
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