Trevor Gillmeister

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Trevor Gillmeister
Personal information
Nickname The Axe
Born (1964-03-13) 13 March 1964 (age 54)
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Playing information
Height 178 cm (5 ft 10 in)
Weight 92 kg (14 st 7 lb)
Position Second-row, Prop, Hooker
Years Team Pld T G FG P
Norths (Brisbane)
1986–90 Eastern Suburbs 98 9 0 0 36
1991–93 Brisbane Broncos 72 8 0 0 32
1994 Penrith Panthers 22 1 0 0 4
1995–96 South Queensland 41 3 0 0 12
Total 233 21 0 0 84
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1987–96 Queensland 22 0 0 0 0
1995 Australia 3 0 0 0 0
Source: NRL Stats, RLP,Yesterday's Hero and Players card details

Trevor Gillmeister (born 13 March 1964 in Brisbane, Queensland) is an Australian former rugby league player who is currently signed on as an assistant coach at the Gold Coast Titans. During his playing days Gillmeister played for the Eastern Suburbs Roosters, Brisbane Broncos, Penrith Panthers and the South Queensland Crushers as well as representing Queensland and Australia.

He played mostly in the Second-row, though he also spent time at Prop and Hooker and was known as The Axe to fans of the game because of his punishing tackles, though he is Gilly to his mates. "The Axe" was also the name of the column he wrote for The Sunday Mail in Brisbane.[1]


Growing up, Gillmeister played football with the Gladstone club in Queensland.

Playing career

Gillmeister's first grade debut in the Brisbane Rugby League premiership was for North Suburbs at eighteen years of age.

Sydney Roosters

In 1986, Gillmeister moved to Sydney, joining the Arthur Beetson-coached, Eastern Suburbs Roosters. Early on in his career, he forged a reputation for being a tough, fearless and hard-hitting tackler, earning him the nickname 'The Axe'. After spending 5 years at the Roosters, Gillmeister signed with his hometown club, the Brisbane Broncos.

Brisbane Broncos

In 1991, his first year at the Broncos, he won the club's player of the year award. Gillmeister put in an impressive defensive display in the club's 28-8 Grand Final victory over the St. George Dragons in 1992. In the weeks following the grand final the Axe travelled with the Broncos to Wigan in England, where he played in the 1992 World Club Challenge against British champions Wigan at their famous ground, Central Park, helping the Broncos become the first Australian club to win the World Club Challenge in Britain with a 22-8 win in front of 17,764 fans.

In 1993, Gillmeister again helped the Broncos to a 14-6 Grand Final win against the same opponents from the previous year, the St. George Dragons. Prior to the 1993 Grand Final victory, the club announced that they couldn't re-sign Gillmeister due to salary cap restrictions. He moved on to the Penrith Panthers after playing 72 games for the club and scoring 8 tries for a total of 32 points.

Penrith Panthers

The Penrith Panthers, coached by Phil Gould, quickly signed Gillmeister after he was not re-signed by the Broncos. His return to Sydney however, was a brief one, only making 22 appearances for the club and scoring 1 try in 1994. He was released from the second year of his contract and he signed for the newly formed second Brisbane based team, the South Queensland Crushers.

South Queensland Crushers

To start the 1995 ARL season, Gillmeister had the honour of scoring the club's first ever try in the 6-24 season opening loss at Suncorp Stadium against the Canberra Raiders. In 1995, he became the first and only ever South Queensland Crushers player to be selected for Australia. At the end of 1996, Gillmeister decided to retire from playing rugby league. In his time as a player, Gillmeister named his most respected opponents as NSW Origin forwards David "Cement" Gillespie (Canterbury, Wests & Manly) and Les Davidson (Souths & Cronulla)

Representative career


Gillmeister made his State of Origin debut playing in the Second-row for Queensland in Game 1 of the 1987 Origin series in front of an overflow crowd of 33,411 at Brisbane's Lang Park. He would make 22 State of Origin appearances for Queensland between 1987 and 1996, captaining the Queensland team to an improbable 3–0 series victory in 1995 under the guidance of former Qld and Easts team mate, and now Origin coach, Paul Vautin. Gillmeister battled against a blood disorder prior to the third and final match of the series in Melbourne. After Queensland's victory Gillmeister was rushed back to hospital to be treated again. In 1996 he captained Queensland in the first State of Origin match but he did not play at all in the remainder of the two games.

At the State of Origin level Gillmeister defied his stature by hurting the Blues with stinging defence. He is remembered for his ongoing fiery attacking and defensive clashes with NSW hardman Paul Harragon.


In 1995, after nearly 10 years in the 'Sydney premiership', which included two Grand Final wins with the Broncos, and after 21 games for Queensland, Gillmeister made his belated Australian debut when he was selected as a reserve forward for the first Trans-Tasman Test match against New Zealand at Suncorp Stadium. At 31 years of age, he became the oldest ever forward to make his international debut at Test level. Gilly played all three tests against the Kiwis from the bench as the Australian's, minus the Super League aligned players, won the series 3-0. Despite good performances throughout 1995, Gillmeister missed out on a place in Australia's World Cup winning team at the end of the season, his three tests against New Zealand being the only time he was selected to represent Australia.

In 2000 Gillmeister was awarded the Australian Sports Medal for his contribution to Australia's international standing in the sport of rugby league.

Coaching career

Gillmeister has worked as assistant coach for the Queensland State of Origin team. In 2006 it was announced that he had been signed as an assistant coach by the newly formed Gold Coast Titans, who were to enter the NRL competition at the start of the 2007 season. Upon his signing at the club, Gillmeister commented, "It's a thrill and honour to be part of a brand new organisation. It's also a huge challenge but something I'm looking forward to."

In 2008, Gillmeister was named at second-row in an all-time greatest Norths Devils team.[2]


  1. Harms, John (2005). The Pearl: Steve Renouf's Story. Australia: University of Queensland Press. p. 202. ISBN 9780702235368. 
  2. Pramberg, Bernie (17 August 2008). "Cameron Smith and Greg Inglis in Norths Devis 'greatest' team". The Courier-Mail. Retrieved 2008-08-17. 

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