Maroons star on the move with ‘nightmare’ proposition looming for Titans’ opponents
Kieran Foran expects AJ Brimson to become an opposition centre’s “nightmare” in a Gold Coast positional switch he says will transform the NRL battlers.
Foran on Monday laid out new coach Des Hasler’s plans for the former Queensland State of Origin fullback.
He confirmed the idea would be for the 25-year-old to shift to centre, allowing Jayden Campbell to wear the No.1 jersey and Tanah Boyd to partner him in the halves.
That still leaves 19-year-old talent Keano Kini vying for a spot. The teenager has been training at fullback with Campbell rehabilitating in the off-season and “pushing guys right to the brink for positions”, according to Titans veteran Foran.
Brimson has played centre just once in 99 NRL games for the Titans – in his last game of 2023 – but his speed and astute defence could translate into a significant upgrade for the club.
“He looks so electric and in that position you’re coming up against guys one-on-one with a bit of space inside and outside,” Foran said.
“He’s that fast off the mark, you give him an inch and he’s off and gone.
“He’s thoroughly enjoying it and another thriving under Dessy’s coaching and will be a strike weapon.
“You can’t fit two or three fullbacks into the one position and they (Brimson and Campbell) are some of our best players.
“You’ve got to find space for these guys to be on the field at the same time.
“He’s got fuel in the tank sitting out there. He’ll be an opposition centre’s nightmare.”
Foran said Brimson’s willingness to give up the No.1 jersey and potentially end the spine merry-go-round of recent seasons could be a turning point for a club that’s finished in the top 10 just four times in the last 13 seasons.
“For sure; that mentality from AJ shows the direction this club needs to head in,” he said.
“It just speaks volumes.”
Club five-eighth Foran, off contract beyond the 2024 season, reckons he’s feeling “as good as he’s ever felt” entering a 16th NRL season.
The 33-year-old said playing hooker for New Zealand in Tests late last year had given him confidence to think he could play on.
“I battled a few niggling injuries last season, but the fact I was able to punch out the minutes I did … gave me great belief,” he said.
“There’s plenty of fuel left in the tank. I’m my own harshest critic and I’ll be holding myself to that level all year.”