NRL Rd 2 - Titans v Broncos
GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 19: Jaimin Jolliffe of the Titans scores a try during the round two NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the Brisbane Broncos at Cbus Super Stadium on March 19, 2021, in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

Heading into 2023, the Gold Coast Titans are tirelessly working on their defence as they look to make a run for a top-eight spot.

o help combat their defensive issues from last season, coach Justin Holbrook has recruited Sam Verrills and Chris Randall - both highly-rated dummy-half options.

Returning to the club's Robina base after World Cup duties with Ireland, front-rower Jaimin Jolliffe believes the team can become one of the league's best in the defence category.

Despite their stacked forward line which boasts numerous representative players, the Titans conceded 660 points last season - just 19 points fewer than the last-placed Wests Tigers - earning them the 13th spot on the ladder.

"That's our goal as a club. We want to be one of the best defensive teams and I think the biggest lessons I took away (from the World Cup) were on the defensive side," Jolliffe said.

"There's a lot that goes into defence and we're working on all of it. A majority of our field sessions have been around defence, so we're taking it really seriously this year and having 'Whitey' (Brett White) on board has been really good for us."

Some of the main additions to the Titans have been to their coaching staff. Former Melbourne Storm premiership winner and Australian international White has joined as an assistant coach for the new season.

Formerly known as the 'minister of defence', White will be a big part of their defensive structure.

"Having Whitey on board has been really good for us. He's got a great understanding in that area," Jolliffe said.

Sydney Roosters Training Session
Sam Verrills had joined the team from the Sydney Roosters. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

The two new recruits will also play a huge part. Transferring into the team from the Sydney Roosters, Sam Verrills is a defensive workhorse. He made 558 tackles in only 15 appearances in 2022, with a tackling efficiency of 95.7%.

Alongside the former Rooster will be another new recruit in former Newcastle Knights' hooker, Chris Randall, who joined the club in a direct swap with the Knights for Greg Marzhew. He had a tackle-efficiency rate of 95% as he made 719 tackles in his 17 appearances due to the absence of Jayden Brailey.

"Defensively, having Sam Verrills there is awesome and also 'Randy' as well," Jolliffe elaborated.

"We've got some good hookers there who are strong defensively and I think they'll really help us out in that area."

With the two new recruits, plus Brett White, the Titans believe they now have the pieces to become one of the best defensive teams in the league.