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'Opposition centre's nightmare': Foran's call on Brimson switch

Titans playmaker Kieran Foran believes AJ Brimson will wreak havoc on opposing defensive lines when he makes the move from fullback to centre in 2024. 

Speaking following training on Monday, Foran confirmed the long-rumoured plan to move Brimson out wider will be put into action under new coach Des Hasler, with livewire utility Jayden Campbell the favourite to claim the vacant No.1 jersey. 

Having spent the majority of his 99-game career at fullback – along with stints in the halves and coming off the interchange – Brimson played briefly in the centres at the back end of the 2023 season with a view to making the move permanently in the upcoming campaign. 

And Foran, whose list of centre partners over the years has included elite representative players like Jamie Lyon, Josh Morris and Michael Jennings, says the 25-year-old possesses all the attributes to be a huge success in his new role. 

Extended try: AJ Brimson

"To have a guy like AJ who's got fuel in the tank, he's ready to go on every play and he's sitting out there ready to make the most of any opportunity. He'll be an opposition centre's nightmare, he just will, you're seeing it at training," Foran said.

"He's going to be a huge strike weapon for us there.

He's so electric and in that position you are coming up against guys one-on-one and you've got a bit of space inside and outside. He's that fast off the mark that you give him an inch and he's off and gone.

Kieran Foran

"He seems to have really molded into that role now and he's thoroughly enjoying it... he's another one that's thriving under Dessie's coaching."

Given his CV at fullback, which includes earning two starts there for the Maroons since 2020, Brimson could be forgiven for turning his nose up at the prospect of moving positions. 

The fact that he's instead embraced the idea, which is partly designed to open up more opportunities for Campbell and highly-rated fullback prospect Keano Kini, tells you plenty about Brimson's team-first approach according to Foran. 

"At the end of the day you can't fit two or three fullbacks into the one position, you've got to find room for them and they [Brimson, Campbell and Kini] are some of our best players," Foran said. 

"You have got to find space for these guys to be on the field at the same time. JC (Campbell) is an incredible fullback... if you can have JC and AJ on the field in strike positions at the same time, that just balances your side up so well.

Campbell makes it look easy

"That mentality from AJ shows the direction that this club needs to head in. It speaks volumes of the sort of person he is, the player that he is, he's a guy that really cares about the future of the club.

"It doesn't quite solve [the puzzle] because 'K' (Kini) is an enormous talent. He's going to push guys right to the brink for positions and will provide great depth for us, and he will keep learning and growing."

Meanwhile ahead of his 16th season in the NRL, 33-year-old Foran said he remains open to the idea of playing on beyond 2024 after being buoyed by his ability to get through last year's Pacific Championships campaign as a hooker for the Kiwis. 

The Aucklander, who is in the final year of his current deal with the Titans, battled persistent injuries last season including a foot problem which caused him "horrific pain" and meant he often didn't train at all through the week. 

"The fact I was able to punch out the minutes that I did for the Kiwis in that campaign and get through that in the middle of the field, that gave me great belief that my body has still got plenty left," he said. 

"I am feeling as fit and strong as I have ever felt and I feel like I have got plenty of fuel left in the tank."

2024 NRL Draw Analysis: Titans

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.