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Gold Coast to hit Raiders with offensive blitz

Expect the unexpected.

That's the message from Titans players as their talented and versatile unit prepares to attack the Canberra Raiders from every angle in their Telstra Premiership season-opener on Sunday.

Titans coach Garth Brennan confirmed his team on Tuesday with Michael Gordon regaining his fullback position, Tyrone Roberts named to partner Ash Taylor in the halves, off-season recruit Tyrone Peachey to start in the centres and AJ Brimson and Bryce Cartwright to be used from the interchange bench.

Vowing to use Brimson in his preferred positions in the halves or at fullback, Brennan showcased the adaptability of the back-line in the Titans' final trial against the Broncos, making four positional changes in order to accommodate the 20-year-old just before half-time.

Gordon – who moved to the wing when Brimson came onto the field – said he doesn't expect to see such radical changes every week but believes such flexibility within the squad can be a real trump card for the Titans in 2019.

"The more unpredictable you can be the better it is for sure," Gordon told

Titans fullback Michael Gordon.
Titans fullback Michael Gordon. ©NRL Photos

"Because everyone does so much homework on left and right and players in certain positions, if you're changing them up then it throws something different at the opposition.

"If your winger or fullback gets injured it makes a massive difference. The teams that can adapt to those sorts of things are generally the best teams.

"Generally you've got one or two players in your team that even if you're not carrying a specialist on the bench they can play in the forwards or if there is an injury in the backs they might be able to cover in the centres.

"Most teams have one or two of those players and we're lucky that we've got quite a few of them.

"We could have four forwards on the bench and feel comfortable or an outside back and someone like Mitch Rein and two forwards. We've got guys like Ryan James who can play on the edge and in the middle and play 80 minutes.

"Having that versatility and variety is probably going to give Garth some headaches."

In an age where players are generally assigned sides of the field in which to operate in, Brian Kelly's switch from right centre to left in the 25-22 loss was a rare occurrence.

Having played on the left side of the field for the past two years at Manly, Kelly is confident playing either side and also believes it is a major strength of this year’s Titans squad.

"I've worked with both sides," Kelly said of his pre-season preparation.

"I worked with Phil (Sami) in pre-season on the left and then he came over to the right with me along with Brenko (Lee) and 'Donny' (Anthony Don). I've got my own little combinations with each of them and I'm used to both sides now.

Titans centre Brian Kelly.
Titans centre Brian Kelly. ©Jason O'Brien/NRL Photos

"With the squad and the depth we've got there are players who can play left or right and with 'Peach' (Peachey) he can pull out of the centres and we can slot other guys in.

"It's a good tool to have for the year."

Entrusted with fast-tracking Brimson's education in fullback play, Gordon also warned of the dangers of changes for change sake and possibly disrupting the cohesion of the team.

"Obviously you want AJ on the field but you don't want five positional changes to happen at the same time," Gordon said.

"You work in your units and develop these combinations all the time and the more you disrupt them the more lack of cohesion you get.

"We’ve all trained in the positions and we’re all familiar with how each other plays but in a game you want to get into the rhythm and feel good together.

"The more you chop and change the more uncertain you probably feel at times. That's what the coaches are debating at the moment."

Acknowledgement of Country

Gold Coast Titans proudly acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we are situated, the Kombumerri families of the Yugambeh Language Region. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continuing connections to the lands, waters and their extended communities throughout South East Queensland.