Titans livewire AJ Brimson feels "better than ever" after returning from a fractured back to a free-flowing game where the small and speedy are thriving.
The 21-year-old had prepared for the worst-case scenario of missing the season but set his sights on a comeback eight weeks ago.
He emerged unscathed against the Roosters in Saturday's commendable 18-12 defeat, running for 90 metres at fullback in his first competitive match since the NRL Nines in February.
"The COVID break was really good for my back. Credit to the staff, really, for getting me back feeling better than ever. That's the way I felt on the weekend, so it was exciting," Brimson said on Monday.
"I think I'll always have to manage it, but hopefully it's going to be low maintenance. If I'm pulling up sore and tight they'll probably have to have an extra look at it.
"But in saying that, I'm not worried about my back anymore. Obviously if I feel something I'll tell the staff, but I've mentally moved on from that and I'm just looking forward to playing some footy."
With a faster ruck speed and more fatigue across the board due to the six-again rule implemented in May, the zippy Brimson, who has a touch football background, poses even more of a threat.
Other pint-sized fullbacks like St George Illawarra's Matt Dufty and Melbourne's Ryan Papenhuyzen have been electric.
"Matt Dufty especially. [It's] Papenhuyzen's standard, but Matt Dufty's really playing good footy. It's good to watch," Brimson said.
"The new game, I've only got one game of it under my belt, but it was fun on the weekend. It should be good."
Brimson declared he wants to be Gold Coast's long-term No.1 despite the arrival of the versatile Corey Thompson.
"He's a good player as we all know and he's been good for my development. We get along and we're always chatting tactics and that sort of stuff," Brimson said.