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AJ Brimson is among the Titans players to have recovered from COVID

When it comes to making a successful transition from fullback to five-eighth, none did it better than Darren Lockyer, so it's no surprise that Titans star AJ Brimson plans on putting in a call to the Broncos legend as he works on his own switch from one to six.

After starting his NRL career at five-eighth in 2018, Brimson spent time at fullback and also on the interchange bench in 2019 before making the Titans No.1 jersey his own in 27 games across the past two seasons.

Brimson produced seven tries, nine try assists, 13 line breaks and 46 tackle breaks in a sparkling 2021 campaign, chiming into the backline with devastating effect to help propel the Titans to their first finals campaign since 2010.

A broken jaw suffered in round 22 against Souths robbed Brimson of the chance to be part of the brave 25-24 loss to the Roosters in the elimination final, but the silver lining was the emergence of Jayden Campbell as a future star at fullback.

The son of club legend Preston Campbell showed enough in his debut season to suggest he can be the No.1 gun long-term, giving coach Justin Holbrook the opportunity to move Brimson back to a key playmaking role.

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"The transition can be something that’s good for my game. I can become more of a leader in the side and a bit more dominant and I can do that in the halves," Brimson said.

"Guys like [Cameron] Munster and Lockyer have made the transition before. It’ll take some time but we are willing to work on it.

"Lockyer was one of the greatest to ever play in my opinion. He was the best fullback and he turned into the best five-eighth and he did it quite comfortably.

"I got his number recently so I’ll be trying to hit him up for some tips. From a Queensland point of view I’m sure he’d be alright to help me so I might put in a phone call and ask him for advice - it'd be pretty priceless getting it from him."

Joining 21-year-old Campbell and 23-year-old Brimson in the spine will be 20-year-old halfback Toby Sexton, while the hooking role shapes as a battle between Erin Clark, 24, and Tanah Boyd, 21, meaning the Titans will boast plenty of X-factor but little experience in the key playmaking positions.

"We'll have a young spine but we're all good mates off the field and we don't really feel the pressure at all," Brimson said.

"As long as we are all on the same page and playing well together we know we are going to be fine.

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"I’ve played more games than Toby but he’s a more controlling half so he’ll say he’s the leader and he can have it if he wants, it doesn’t bother me.

"I'll chat when I want to chat and he can be the controller and I’ll just run the footy still."

One of the key areas Brimson says he'll be working on during the off-season is the different type of fitness required in the front line compared to fullback.

"At fullback it's more of a running fitness but not much tackling, whereas now [at five-eighth] it’s more wrestle and inside shoulders and different fitness but I played a lot of halves growing up so I just have to get it back into my game," Brimson said.

"As a fullback you have to have a good catch-pass the same as a halfback or five-eighth so that’s all quite similar.

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"If someone makes a break I’m still going to be pushing up in support or if the hooker jumps out I’m still going to be pushing with him, I’m not really locked in anywhere."

In a good sign for Titans fans, the three-time Maroons representative is adamant they still have a long way to go despite breaking their finals drought in 2021 and "are not where we want to be yet".

"We weren’t there last year even though we made the eight," he said. "We were stoked to be playing finals but we were nowhere near our best footy and we just want to keep building.

"We still have a long time to build up combinations with the new spine and as Nathan Cleary and Jarome Luai showed the last couple of years, age and games doesn't matter if you know each other's game inside out."

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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