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  1. #1

    Default Australian jerseys help Brimson regain confidence

    Titans playmaker AJ Brimson says the opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the game's best players will help him when he returns to his NRL club.

    Brimson joined a star-studded Junior Kangaroos squad in Wollongong this week to prepare for Friday night's battle with France at WIN Stadium.

    That match at WIN Stadium will serve as a curtain-raiser to Test matches involving the men's and women's teams from Australia and New Zealand.

    A change to the format, where the Junior Kangaroos age limit has increased from 20 to 23 this season, will see the likes of Maroons duo Kalyn Ponga, David Fifita and premiership-winners Angus Crichton, Nat Butcher and Victor Radley step out in green and gold.

    "I was just happy to get a bench spot when you look at this side," Brimson told

    "When you think about the 23-year old's in the NRL, and as you can see with the team named, there's boys who have been around the game for a while and represented their state or won grand finals.

    "Coming into a younger squad now I feel more confident than what I probably would've been two weeks ago. I'll just try to take as much as I can into the Titans' [2020] season."

    Brimson is expected to re-join the Titans for pre-season training in late November after the club's disappointing 2019 wooden spoon finish.

    He concedes something needs to change from within the playing group, rather than make any further external changes, following the appointment of Justin Holbrook as coach.

    "We have the squad to do a lot better but then again we had the squad this year and failed badly," Brimson said.

    "Something has got to change with us as players whether it's attitude or a better understanding of how we play. We have to want to make a difference.

    "I thought we had a good pre-season and went in feeling good but obviously didn't play well all year."

    Brimson says he will benefit from an injury-free off-season after a shoulder reconstruction delayed and disrupted his preparation for 2019.

    He started the year from the bench under former coach Garth Brennan until an injury to retiring veteran Michael Gordon and Ash Taylor's personal leave left him shifting from fullback to the halves.

    "It was a sticky situation and I was coming back from the injury so was happy to stay there on the bench," he said.

    "Brenno wanted me in the team but Ash and Tyrone were playing good footy. I think when you're losing games it doesn't help and it's the most frustrating part. We need to turn it around."

  2. #2


    Gonna be interesting to see where aj plays off the bench today and how he goes

  3. #3


    He's playing at hooker like he did in the 9's which is frustrating because we can't see him run the ball much. But within 5 minutes of being on the field he made a great scoot from hooker to break the line and offloaded it for Papenheyzun to score.

  4. #4


    This article is from yesterday, before the game...but it contains a few insights about the club, players etc...

    Mal Meninga believes he will be able to get the best out of AJ Brimson from the bench, but won’t look to slow down what has been a breakout season for the Titans youngster.

    Brimson will line up in the no.14 jersey for the junior Kangaroos when they play France on Friday night, after featuring in Australia’s victorious World Cup 9’s campaign last weekend for his senior rep debut.

    The Gold Coast utility is the likely successor for Michael Gordon in 2020 as he enters the last year of his contract with his junior side.

    Wests have kept interest in Brimson as a potential prospect beyond next season, with a swap for Ryan Matterson previously mentioned as a suitable move.

    It is understood the Titans have held talks with Brimson’s party regarding a two-year extension aiming to keep the 21-year-old on the Gold Coast, with a significant pay upgrade in play, according to

    Brimson will be seen as a priority player for the Titans to retain, but will be able to exercise his options with rival clubs after the November 1st deadline.

    A local junior and graduate from Keebra Park, Brimson joined the Titans at the age of 16 and has capped 36 games at NRL level.

    Meanwhile, Meninga understands Brimson’s value for the junior Kangaroos as a utility within his game plans, while he also looks to balance his coaching duties with his culture role with the Titans.

    “I think his best position is 14,” Meninga told

    “There’s this concept that players get in their minds and people get in their minds that you’ve got to start to contribute to your team.

    “But it’s a 17-man game now and your reserves are so important. If you’re playing as a 14, as an example you can play [in the] halves or as a No.9, he can play fullback. He can play in the centres, he can play most positions in the side, in the backs especially.

    “He can still play 60, 70 minutes of a game, you just don’t know. It’s just that starting stigma that can come with playing on the bench.

    “I think his best position is 14 at the moment, and as he matures and gets more experience, finds his feet in a position then he might take on a 6 or a 1 role.”

    The Titans will be ready to welcome back Brimson as well as fellow Kangaroo Jai Arrow and halfback Ash Taylor for pre-season training on November 4th.

    Captain Ryan James is also set to return to training having recovered from a ruptured ACL in April.

    The club is hopeful Justin Holbrook will be able to have Taylor back to his best in preparation for the 2020 season, after being granted leave during the middle tier of the season.

    Taylor holds regular visits with a psychologist to assist in the growth of his confidence and health after he fell to a drop in form during the 2019 season. The Titans considered releasing Taylor from the final two years of his contract if it was to suit his best interests.

    Holbrook will be hoping to have a strong start to the preseason following a tumultuous 2019 campaign in charge of the Titans.

    “Ash is going well. It’s up to the coach and his coaching team about where they play,” Meninga says.

    “Is Ash Taylor going to be a starting 7 for us? It’s going to depend on how well he gets through the off-season and how much he trains, how much he impresses the coaching staff.

    “It’s up to the individuals at the club to show the new coach that they actually want to be at the club first and foremost, they want to be part of that first grade team.

    “Justin’s had great success over at St Helens and he’s coming back to us rejuvenated and really keen to get his teeth into it.

    “He’ll form views on all our players over the off-season. He’ll have a really strong opinion when we go into Christmas and then he’ll make his own judgements along with the coaching staff around where people play.”

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