Brimson’s Origin hopes hamstrung in Cowboys defeat

Fraser Barton |

AJ Brimson’s chances of starting at fullback for Queensland in the 2023 State of Origin opener have been dealt a blow after the Gold Coast star suffered a hamstring injury in his side’s round-four loss to the Cowboys.

Brimson left the field a quarter of the way through the Titans’ 24-12 loss to North Queensland in Townsville after having his hamstring worked on by the trainer.

The 24-year-old could be seen grimacing and was in obvious discomfort as pressure was applied to the back of his right leg.

Titans coach Justin Holbrook said “they’re never easy injuries to come back from in a short time” adding he would see how Brimson and five-eighth Kieran Foran (calf) – who departed the field within moments of the fullback – pull up this week as Gold Coast head into a bye. 

Brimson has been a standout for the now 2-2 Titans early this year with a try, four assists, 12 tackle breaks and an average of 147 running metres per game.

The Gold Coast product’s deft grubbers on the left edge have produced opportunities for rookie winger Alofiana Khan-Pereira, who has crossed for five tries in four games.

Brimson was overlooked last year for Queensland after shifting from five-eighth to fullback but has three caps to his name after stints in 2020 and 2021.

He faces a tight battle with Brisbane’s Reece Walsh and Dolphins flyer Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow for the vacant fullback jumper, with Kalyn Ponga sidelined indefinitely due to concussion.

Walsh and Tabuai-Fidow starred in the ‘Battle of Brisbane’ on Friday as coach Billy Slater ponders his picks for Origin I at Adelaide Oval on May 31.