Gillmeister gone as Walters hires big-name Maroons
Queensland coach Kevin Walters has reacted to a rare State of Origin series loss by axing long-serving Trevor Gillmeister and hiring some of the Maroons' biggest names.
Gillmeister was the highest-profile casualty in sweeping staff changes for the 2019 Maroons, with Walters cutting the ex-Queensland captain as his defensive coach and recruiting Justin Hodges, Petero Civoniceva, Johnathan Thurston and Billy Slater.
Walters also dropped assistant Josh Hannay and long-time trainer Tony Spencer.
Hodges replaces Hannay as Maroons assistant and Civoniceva is the new team manager while Thurston and Slater will lend a hand at Maroons camps throughout the series.
Melbourne Storm's Matthew Barradeen replaces Spencer as the new trainer.
Walters said he needed to take a new direction in 2019 as Queensland attempt to win back the Origin title after NSW won only their second series in 13 years this season.
"Trevor Gillmeister is a Queensland legend and Tony has worked tirelessly with the team for nearly 20 years as a trainer," Walters said of his staff changes.
"They have been great servants, but I just felt that the time was right to get fresh faces in and around the team with the next generation of players coming through."
Walters is focusing on his fourth season as Queensland coach after missing out on the Brisbane NRL coaching job.
Walters admitted last week that he was crestfallen to be overlooked for the Broncos gig after the NRL club opted for South Sydney's Anthony Seibold to succeed Wayne Bennett.