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Skipper Stimmo says Titans not shying away from facing full-strength Dolphins

Joe Stimson might have a cheeky giggle when asked about having the 'c' next to his name this weekend, but there's no understating how excited the forward is in leading the Titans' next generation of talent.

Especially with the Dolphins naming a near full-strength team for Sunday's clash at Sunshine Coast Stadium.

The most experienced player to line up for the Gold Coast in the first hit-out of 2024, the 28-year-old is no stranger to leadership having led several Temora Dragons sides during his junior days as well as taking charge of the Melbourne Storm Under 20s during the National Youth Competition.

With the side featuring 17 uncapped Titans including seven train-and-trialists and four development rookies who have all impressed coach Des Hasler during the pre-season at Parkwood, Stimson feels this weekend is a great chance for the Legion to see the production line of young stars coming through as they are rewarded for their application to the gruelling weeks of training.  

"I'm most looking forward to seeing all the young boys on show in their opportunity," Stimson told

"They've all trained really hard and for them to get an opportunity to play against NRL-quality players, it's pretty exciting because I feel like they've trained really well and now our fans get to see what we've been doing."

Identifying a number of key players who are ones to watch this weekend, the 107-game star feels the team Hasler's named has plenty of power across the park despite a whopping 1173 NRL appearances deficit between the two sides.

"I think you'll see a lot out of Josiah (Pahulu) this weekend, as well as our back five with Tony Francis and Harley Smith-Shields has been training really well," Stimson said.

"Iszac Fa'asuamaleaui has been training really well too, so we've got strike all over the field and it'll be good to see some guys that aren't familiar faces yet get a shot on the big stage."

Stimson is backing Josiah Pahulu to have a breakout game against the Dolphins.
Stimson is backing Josiah Pahulu to have a breakout game against the Dolphins. ©Titans Media

Not shying away from the mammoth task ahead with the calibre of players set to line up for the Dolphins, Stimson said his team has put aside the difference in line-ups and instead focusing on what they want they want to achieve from the trial.

"They've named a quality team and I think they just want to get some reps out for their big guys... but we're excited to play a full strength Dolphins team," he said.

"We just need to concentrate on the things that we're focussing on... like all the little effort areas, controlling the ball if we need to and our discipline. I think that's something we've really been working hard on during the pre-season."

"I can't wait to be able to put it into a game."

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.