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PBM contenders: The four backs that could claim glory

The 2023 Paul Broughton Medal will be announced on Wednesday night with a number of contenders vying for the top honour.

Fans have pinned Tino Fa'asuamaleaui as the frontrunner, although a number of other players have proven themselves in 2023 to be deserving of the prestigious award.

Shortlisting eight players who are a genuine chance of taking home the gong, see below for's review of four of the Gold Coast's backs who are in contention:


AJ Brimson

By the numbers

Games: 14
Tries: 4
Try assists: 12
Tackle breaks: 58
Line breaks: 10
Most metres in a game: 192 (R8)
Avg. running metres: 133
Avg. tackles per game: 6
Tackle efficiency: 84%

Brimson's 2023 season ebbed and flowed with highs and lows - the 25-year-old sidelined on a number of occasions due to injuries to both his hamstrings and his oblique. But when the dynamo was on the field, he was unstoppable - earning his recall to the Maroons line-up for Game III.

Predominately playing at fullback, a late season switch saw him injected into the centres and could be a long-term option under Des Hasler, linking up with good friend Phil Sami on the right edge which opens the door for Jayden Campbell's full-time inclusion.

It's hard to pinpoint Brimson's best game of 2023 given he had quite a number of consistent performances across the year; but it's hard to go past Round 17 against the Broncos. The first clash under interim coach Jim Lenihan and with captaincy duties for the encounter, he starred with 173 metres and seven tackle breaks to upset the competition leaders at Suncorp Stadium.

Match highlights: Broncos v Titans

Expecting to poll in a number of appearances this year, hurting the fan favourite's chancing of taking home the top gong will be the number of matches he missed due to injury.

Jayden Campbell

By the numbers

Games: 22
Tries: 5
Try assists: 3
Tackle breaks: 70
Line breaks: 11
Most metres in a game: 315 (R19)
Avg. running metres: 118
Avg. tackles per game: 9
Tackle efficiency: 82%

Playing his third full season of first grade, JC proved to be a integral part of the Titans 17 with his versatility to play at fullback, five-eighth and in the centres and impressed no matter where he played.

Appearing in all but two games - suffering a season-ending knee against the Panthers in Round 25 - it was a big year for the son of a gun, who also put pen to paper on a contract extension until the end of 2026.

The 23-year-old also became etched in Titans history in Round 19 against the Dolphins, running 315 metres to set a new club record for most metres gained in a single game.

Campbell splits them

Despite playing 10 of his 22 games off the bench in the No. 14 jersey, it's expected Campbell has impressed Gold Coast coaching staff and will receive a number of best-on votes to contest this year's honour

Kieran Foran

By the numbers

Games: 20
Tries: 6
Try assists: 5
Tackle breaks: 19
Line breaks: 5
Most metres in a game: 146 (R27)
Avg. running metres: 61
Avg. tackles per game: 19
Tackle efficiency: 86%

Kieran Foran is like a fine wine who just keeps getting better with age. Proving to be pivotal recruitment to bolster the club's playmaking stocks, the 282-game star was also part of the lethal left edge - alongside David Fifita, Brian Kelly and Alofiana Khan-Pereira.

Showing immense courage to play through pain, the 32-year-old only missed four games despite being troubled with a number of niggling injuries, which helped set a new standard across the group in regard to toughness. His experience also rubbed off on a number of young stars, with players like Tanah Boyd, Tom Weaver and Keano Kini praising the International half for his teachings.

Foran gets a hat-trick

Another consistent performer for his new club in 2023, the 'tough bugger' scored a hat-trick in his final game of the season against the Bulldogs and that performance can be said was one of Foran's best, alongside his return to Brookvale Oval against his old side when the Titans took down the Sea Eagles in Round 9.

Phil Sami

By the numbers

Games: 21
Tries: 11
Try assists: 2
Tackle breaks: 114
Line breaks: 13
Most metres in a game: 290 (R15)
Avg. running metres: 171
Avg. tackles per game: 4
Tackle efficiency: 81%

It can be argued 2023 was Phil Sami's best year in the NRL with the flyer making the right wing his own with a scintillating season - partnering with Khan-Pereira to be two of the most lethal flankers in the NRL.

Unlucky to miss out on an Origin recall, the flyer broke the 200-metre ceiling on eight occasions this season - including a stellar month between Rounds 15-20 and finished in the NRL's top 10 for tackle breaks with 114 despite missing the final two games due to a Lisfranc injury.

Sami scores in his milestone game

Celebrating his 100th game against the Tigers, that appearance was easily the speedster's best, running a whopping 290 metres, breaking eight tackles and scoring a four-pointer to make his milestone ever sweeter.

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.