AJ Brimson always wanted to be No.1 Titan
Footloose and fancy free is how Gold Coast speedster AJ Brimson likes to play his footy, which is why he is relishing being permanently back in the fullback position.
The 24-year-old has juggled No.6 and No.1 throughout his 85-game NRL career but with the arrival of former Manly five-eighth Kieran Foran he can return to the position where he has played his best football, as he did in the Titans' surge to the 2021 finals.
"I am feeling really comfortable back there at fullback," Brimson told AAP ahead of next Sunday's round one clash with Wests Tigers.
"I like the freedom of it. I just like playing instinctive footy. When I am in the halves I have to tell other people what to do, but I am at my best when I am just reacting and pushing up around the footy.
"I had told the coach (Justin Holbrook) at the start of pre-season that I was happy to play six or one, but that I prefer one."
The acquisition of Foran and former Sydney Roosters rake Sam Verrills has taken the burden off Brimson having to organise the team's plays, as he did in 2022.
"The addition of those two has been awesome for us and is only going to get better," Brimson said.
"To have someone like Verrills jumping around the ruck, I can just follow him. It makes my job simple."
Brimson's goals this year are to return from a two-year absence to Queensland's State of Origin team and play finals with the Titans. He had groin surgery in 2020 after suffering osteitis-pubis, an injury he must still keep on top of.
"It's OK. It could be better, but I played with it last year to be honest. It is a lot better and stronger than last year," he said.
"The key for me is keeping my body good week-in and week-out. If I can then I think I can be back in the Origin arena. That's what I want to do, and play finals footy.
"I have done everything possible to stay fit with unlimited rehab sessions.
"I have modified sessions on the training field. I am still not in full training, but I am doing more in the gym. I do more of some things and less of others. I rest. Whatever the physio has said, I do."