Wynnum Manly Seagulls, determined to go one better in 2020, have signed former NRL and Super Rugby star Lachlan Maranta.
The 27-year-old winger and fullback, who most notably spent five seasons at the Brisbane Broncos, brings a wealth of experience to Wynnum Manly's backline.
Maranta, who has played 72 NRL games, spent 2019 at St George Illawarra Dragons and played two NRL games during the year after a stint at the Queensland Reds that saw him play in three Super Rugby games.
Wynnum Manly CEO Hanan Laban said it was a major coup for the club after losing flashy Papua New Guinean Edene Gebbie to South Sydney Rabbitohs.
"It's huge to get someone who comes with a lot of NRL experience," Laban said.
"He can play multiple positions in the backline - at fullback or on the wing, so he is a great addition and I can't wait to see what he brings, combining with Sam Scarlett and Mitch Cronin.
"Having players like Lachlan in the competition is great for the competition."
Wynnum Manly have re-signed 13 of the 17 players who took to the field during this year’s grand final; Gebbie has gone to Rabbitohs, Jayden Berrell to Easts Tigers, and Matt Groat and Kelly Tate have also left.
Laban said Maranta, who has already started pre-season with the team, had close ties with several players at the club and this had helped him settle in nicely.
"From a chemistry and team culture point of view, he fits and has been comfortable from day one, which is important to us," Laban said.
Wynnum Manly coach Adam Brideson said "Lachie is a quality young fella who was looking to come back to Brisbane" and that was an opportunity the club was happy to pounce on.
"We were obviously chasing some experience... Edene's individual brilliance is very hard to replace but Lachie is one of very few good contenders who could do that," Brideson said.
"He has been training really well and I'm looking forward to seeing what he can do."
Brideson has been putting players through their paces for just over one week now and said he was looking forward to 2020 and what the year could bring.