The Gold Coast Titans have secured another recruitment coup with Maroons legend Trevor Gillmeister joining the coaching staff in an official capacity as a defensive consultant.
Gillmeister attended sessions last year to assist coach Garth Brennan on an ad-hoc basis but is now going to be on board each week in 2019.
The Titans leaked 582 points in 2018, the fourth worst in the NRL. They lost seven games by eight points or less as defensive errors often proved decisive.
Gillmeister will be on board two days a week in pre-season and one day a week once the Telstra Premiership begins.
He worked as an assistant and defensive coach at the Titans from 2007 until 2014 and is highly regarded for his defensive nous and for capacity to get that knowledge across to the players.
"Gilly is an icon of the game and has done it all in the game himself. He is renowned for his contact in defence and that is what he is on board with us for," Brennan told NRL.com.
"I want him to really work on our first-up contact, which is Gilly's area of expertise. It is true that our defence last year suffered at times.
"A couple of one-on-one misses in defence was probably the difference between playing semi-final football and not because it cost us games at times.
"Gilly is another voice in the club and a well-respected guy who has a bit of clout in the game so he is someone I think the players can learn a lot from.
"The other side of things is that he will do some one-on-one stuff with the guys who need to work on their tackle technique."
Gillmeister attended Titans training a fortnight ago, after which he told NRL.com that he had been approached by Brennan to do more with the club this season.
"It is not just a fly-in and fly-out arrangement like it was last year. We've got him on deck for the whole season and he is now part of our staff," Brennan said.
"He is not full-time but he is part of our coaching roster. He will also be working with all the coaches as far as defence goes. He won't be organising defensive structures. It will be all about the contact side of things because he is one of the best the game has ever seen."
Gillmeister won premierships with the Brisbane Broncos but told NRL.com recently that the Titans remained dear to his heart ever since he became foundation member of the coaching staff. His desire to ensure the Titans succeed has also impressed Brennan.
"Gilly ticks two boxes. He loves the Gold Coast Titans and he is a passionate Queenslander and that can only benefit us," Brennan said.