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Halves shift just like junior days for Brimson

AJ Brimson is no stranger to wearing the No. 6 jersey.

In his days running around the Gold Coast as a kid, he played almost exclusively in the halves and it wasn't until he began his professional rugby league career did the Runaway Bay Seagulls junior shift from the playmaking role to the coveted fullback position.

But, with the full-time inclusion of scintillating dynamo Jayden Campbell in the Titans' top 17, 23-year-old Brimson is set to return to familiar territory, learning the tricks of the trade once again with the five-eighth jersey on his back.

"I’m actually really enjoying it. It feels quite comfortable," Brimson said.

"Obviously playing most of my junior footy in the halves, it’s quite a simple transition back.

"It’s more of a defensive change because me, JC [Jayden Campbell] and Toby [Sexton] all float in attack, so there’s not too much difference.

"It's been good to have fun there on the left side and try and build my combinations with the boys."

All smiles as AJ Brimson returns to pre-season training.
All smiles as AJ Brimson returns to pre-season training.

It was an eventful festive break for the Origin utility, who has returned to pre-season after hosting a joyous Christmas lunch with family before being one of the club's first players to be struck down with coronavirus.

"The Christmas break was good. It was a great opportunity to have all the family over," Brimson said.

"We hosted our Christmas lunch and it was good fun.

"It's also been good to get back. Contracting COVID-19 over the break takes its toll on you.

"[I had] just a little shortness of breath, but we’re easing back into it us COVID boys.

"We’re all coming back in dribs and drabs, so it'll be good to have everyone back."

Despite being challenged with having to train with reduced numbers due to the recent wave of infections affecting South East Queensland, the Titans lynchpin has been particularly excited with the progression of a number of squad members aiming to lock in a regular first grade spot for the upcoming season.

"Young Phil Sami and Tanah Boyd [have been impressive]. Tanah has slipped into the hooker role and I never knew he could tackle. He's tinking everyone left, right and centre at the moment," Brimson joked.

"Phil Sami has dropped five kilos and is nearly beating me in the 1.2 kilometre fitness test. He’s back to flying Phil. The coaches are loving him and I’m loving him.

"But all jokes aside, those two boys are going really well at the moment.

"JC is always looking dangerous and big Isaac Liu... he’s got a mature head and he’s an experienced player, so we’re looking forward to having him onboard."

New year, new position for Brimson.
New year, new position for Brimson.

Outside of the week in isolation due to COVID-19, this year's pre-season has been one of the first times the newly-appointed five-eighth has been able to prepare for the upcoming season in full without being hindered with injury.

"I’ve had a couple of injuries in the past that’s shortened my pre-season and last year, I pretty much came back from Origin with a foot injury and wasn’t training with the team until mid-February, so it definitely was a slower start to the season," Brimson said.

"But I feel really fit and flying at the moment and it’s only going to get better over the next six to eight weeks, so I’m confident going in."

Being blessed with a full bill of health this new pre-season, staying in tip-top shape fitness-wise is on top of the priority list for the playmaker.

"My individual priority is to make sure my body is right and my fitness is ready to go," Brimson said.

"I want to be as fit as possible so I can be as available for as much as possible on the field. I still want to use my support play even though I’m back in the halves.

"Priority wise from a team point of view, we need to make sure we’re still building during the trials and then be on the same page for Round 1."

With tickets on sale soon for the club's first trial match against the Broncos on Saturday, February 19 - available exclusively for members of the Titans Legion, Brimson urges fans and members to sign up or renew and be part of something special in 2022.

"We’re a lot further ahead than we were this time last year," the Titans playmaker said.

"Whilst we were happy with the season last year playing finals, we were nowhere near where we wanted to be and could have been.

"We’re still building and we've been building something special the last couple of years.

"We’re a young team, we're gradually just getting better and better and we can feel it."

Join our Legion today! Click here to secure your seat for 2022.