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Queensland Reds announce squad for tour of Japan

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The Queensland Reds have confirmed their 27-man touring squad ahead of next month’s inaugural Queensland-Saitama Shield match against the Saitama Panasonic Wild Knights in Japan.

Following the completion of the Queensland Rugby Challenger Series, seven players from outside of the Reds program – Connor Anderson, Phransis Sula-Siaosi, Jake Upfield, Sam Wallis, Joey Fittock, Ben Navosailagi and Louis Werchon – have been selected to tour and potentially earn a Queensland cap.

After captaining the Reds Development XV, Angus Blyth will lead the side against the reigning League One premiers, while Wallabies duo Harry Wilson and Suliasi Vunivalu will also travel to face the Robbie Deans coached outfit.

Reds head coach Brad Thorn said: “The Challenger Series was a great success.

“We got to see Queensland’s best club talent back playing rep footy. There needs to be more of it in the future.

“Congratulations to the men who will tour Japan. It’s a special opportunity to earn a cap for their state.  

“Seven club players will travel with us, we’re excited to reward them and see what they bring. I’d like to acknowledge Ethan Dobbins and Paddy James, who would have toured if not for injury.

“We’re pleased to have Harry and Suli back. Harry won the Pilecki Medal as our best player this season and Suli is a proven match-winner – he brings x-factor. They’ll be great for our team.”

Reds General Manager of Professional Rugby Sam Cordingley said: “We’re looking forward to travelling to Japan to play our partner the Saitama Panasonic Wild Knights.

“After the Challenger Series, it’s another valuable opportunity for our group to develop as a team on the field, something that has been lacking in recent years.

“It’s a unique chance for a number of club players to represent Queensland on tour.

“The StoreLocal Hospital Challenge Cup is our greatest talent provider, and we feel a great connection to the competition, so it’s pleasing to see these players get an opportunity.

“We would like to thank the Australia Japan Foundation and Trade and Investment Queensland for their significant support of this tour.”

18 players with Super Rugby experience have been named to tour, including Richie Asiata, Ryan Smith, Seru Uru, Isaac Henry and Vunivalu who have recently returned from Australia A duties in Japan.

The tour will also feature a warm-up clash against Japan’s third-best team, the Kubota Spears Funabashi Tokyo Bay, before Queensland face the Saitama Panasonic Wild Knights on Friday 4 November at Kumagaya Rugby Stadium.

Thanks to the support of the Australia Japan Foundation and Trade and Investment Queensland, the Wild Knights will travel to Queensland in 2023 to play the corresponding fixture for the Saitama-Queensland Shield.

The Saitama Prefecture, located in the Greater Tokyo Area, shares a sister state relationship with Queensland, with the Reds last touring the country to face a Saitama XV in 1991. The match featured the likes of Tim Horan, Jason Little, John Eales and Paul Carozza, while the Wild Knights’ General Manager Hitoshi Iijima also played.


 Queensland Reds Japan Tour
 


Queensland Reds v Saitama Panasonic Wild Knights – Friday November 4th, Kumagaya Rugby Stadium, Saitama
 


Queensland Reds Japan Tour Squad
  


 Forwards
 


  • Connor Anderson – Wests

  • Richie Asiata – Easts
  • 
 George Blake – Bond University
  • 
 Wilson Blyth – Bond University

  • Angus Blyth – Bond University
  • 
 Sef Fa’agase – University of Queensland

  • Matt Faessler – Brothers

  • Zane Nonggorr – Bond University
  • 
 Ryan Smith – Brothers

  • Phransis Sula-Siaosi – Souths

  • Jake Upfield – Bond University

  • Seru Uru – Wests

  • Sam Wallis – University of Queensland
  • 
 Harry Wilson – Brothers

  • Dane Zander – University of Queensland


Backs
 


  • Floyd Aubrey – GPS
  • 
 Lawson Creighton – Brothers
  • 
 Joey Fittock – Bond University
  • 
 Josh Flook – Brothers

  • Mac Grealy – University of Queensland

  • Isaac Henry – Wests

  • Spencer Jeans – Bond University
  • 
 Tom Lynagh – University of Queensland

  • Ben Navosailagi – Wests

  • Kalani Thomas – University of Queensland

  • Suliasi Vunivalu – Wests

  • Louis Werchon – Brothers

Content & Images from – Queensland Reds Rugby


Super Rugby

Queensland Reds sign promising duo

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After impressing during this year’s inaugural Queensland Rugby Challenger Series and tour of Japan, Queensland Rugby pathway products Connor Anderson and Phransis Sula-Siaosi will join the Queensland Reds squad in 2023
 .

Backrower Anderson will call Ballymore home for the next two seasons, while prop Sula-Siaosi has signed through 2023 to bring added depth to the Reds forward pack next year.

Through Queensland Rugby’s recent groundbreaking player development initiatives, the Club Rugby pairing both earned their maiden Queensland cap against the Saitama Panasonic Wild Knights earlier this month in Kumagaya.
  


 Reds General Manager – Professional Rugby Sam Cordingley said: “We’re pleased to welcome another two genuine Queensland Rugby pathway products to our squad for 2023.
 


“Connor and Phransis have both been impressive for their respective clubs for a number of seasons now, and they only enhanced their reputations during the Challenger Series and Japan Tour. It’s great to reward their performances with a Reds contract.
 


“At the Reds, we’ve been built on a strong connection with the community game in Queensland, but the opportunity is clearer than it’s ever been with introduction of the Queensland Challenger Series, and Reds caps and contracts will be available again next year for outstanding performers.
 


“Next year’s Challenger Series will grow again and with the Saitama Panasonic Wild Knights travelling to Queensland in 2023, we will be keeping contract positions open for outstanding performers.”
  


 Anderson said: “I’m super excited to be joining the squad in 2023, this has been a dream of mine since I was four-years-old.
 


“Being selected for the Japan tour and earning a cap was a massive honour and something I’m extremely grateful for.
 


“A massive thank you to my coaches at Wests and the club. I wouldn’t be in this position without them.
 


“I’m looking forward to the challenge of Super Rugby and can’t wait to rip in this pre-season at Ballymore.”
 


Sula-Siaosi said: “Earlier this year, my dream of being a professional footy player still felt like a long way away.
 


“I was over the moon to be called into the squad for the Challenger Series and thought what a great year of footy it has been.
 


“Getting my first cap on the Japan Tour still feels unreal to think about.
 


“I’m glad I was able to impress Thorny and the staff enough to sign me and I’m excited to take advantage of this opportunity and make something out of it.”
 


Anderson has enjoyed a breakout 2022 campaign, the backrower winning the StoreLocal Hospital Cup title with Wests and receiving the Alec Evans Medal as the competition’s best player.
 


The 26-year-old graduated from Brisbane State High School in 2013, and played for the Queensland U20s side in 2016.
 


An Everton Park Roosters junior, Anderson made the move to Sylvan Road in 2017, and has been a permanent fixture in the Bulldogs pack in the years since.
 


He featured for Brisbane City in the 2019 National Rugby Championship, before earning selection in this year’s Challenger Series with the Reds.
 


Still only 22-years-old, Sula-Siaosi captained Souths in the year’s Hospital Cup and has risen through the ranks after graduating from St Joseph’s Nudgee College in 2018.
  


 Sula-Siaosi was an Australian Schoolboy the same year, touring Ireland and Scotland alongside current Reds scrumhalf Spencer Jeans.
 


The prop made his Premier Grade debut the season after, and went on to captain the Magpies in 2022.
 


Anderson and Sula-Siaosi will report for pre-season training at Ballymore next week, with Queensland’s preparations for the 2023 Super Rugby Pacific season set to kick-off on Monday.
 


The Reds will play five home games at Suncorp Stadium in 2022, with two at Townsville’s Queensland Country Bank Stadium, including a Round 1 blockbuster against the Hurricanes.
 


Secure your 2022 Reds membership via https://bit.ly/3UP1YDJ.
 


Connor Anderson
 


  • Position: Backrow
  • 
 Height: 191cm

  • Weight: 107kg

  • Born: 13/05/1996

  • Place of birth: Brisbane

  • Senior Club: Wests

  • School: Brisbane State High School

  • Queensland debut: 04/11/2022 v Saitama Panasonic Wild Knights, Kumagaya Rugby Stadium, Saitama

  • Queensland caps: 1
 


Phransis Sula-Siaosi

  • 
 Position: Prop
  • 
 Height: 174cm
 Weight: 118kg
  • 
 Born: 15/07/2022

  • Place of birth: West Auckland, New Zealand

  • Senior Club: Souths
  • School: St Joseph’s Nudgee College

  • Queensland debut: 04/11/2022 v Saitama Panasonic Wild Knights, Kumagaya Rugby Stadium, Saitama

  • Queensland caps: 1

Content & Images from – Queensland Reds Rugby


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Super Rugby

Argentine winger to join Highlanders in 2023

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The Highlanders have added their last player to their 2023 squad with the signing of Argentinian, Martin Bogado.

The 24-year-old winger/fullback is currently assembled with Michael Cheika’s Los Pumas on their UK and European tour. In July he had two outings for an Argentinian XV against Portugal and Georgia and has been playing in the French Top 14 competition for Bayonne.

Bogado is a physical outside back and at 1.91m and 97kg he has the size and pace to cause opposition’s defence problems. He is not the first Argentinian to further his rugby ambitions by playing Super Rugby, Pumas Captain Pablo Matera played for the Crusaders in 2022.

Bogado is looking forward to the rugby and life experience.

“I am extremely excited to be joining the Highlanders. To have the opportunity to play Super Rugby in New Zealand and to represent such a prestigious team is a dream for me.

The move to New Zealand represents a fantastic challenge, and one I had to accept.

New Zealand’s rugby culture and the New Zealand culture in general is something I greatly admire and I’m sure that this experience will help me to grow on and off the field. I want to continue improving as a player and become the very best I can be. I have no doubt the Highlanders is the perfect place to achieve this.

I want to thank the coaching staff, club management and everyone at Highlanders for showing faith in me. I will be giving everything for the club, my new team-mates, and the fans.”

Head Coach, Clarke Dermody, has also welcomed the arrival.

“We were looking for someone to complement our current group of outside backs and Martin fits the bill perfectly. His physical attributes and ability to compete in the air will be of benefit to us.

He is very keen to come out and try a new environment and to further his game. He is clearly talented having already picked up a few games for an Argentinian XV and we believe he is an exciting prospect for us and the future.”

Bogado has signed a two-year deal and will join the team early in the New Year.

ENDS

 

Content & Images from – Highlanders Rugby


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ACT Brumbies promote pathways playmakers

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The ACT Brumbies have promoted pathways playmakers Klayton Thorn and Nathan Carroll to the club’s 2023 Harvey Norman Super Rugby Pacific squad.

 

Both standouts in this year’s Bentspoke John I Dent Cup, Carroll was instrumental in Queanbeyan’s run to the title, impressing with his ability to find space and his accuracy off the tee. 

 

Comfortable at fullback and flyhalf, the 22-year-old was top scorer for Brothers Rugby club in the Hospital cup before joining the Brumbies’ pathways program at the end of 2021, training full-time with the club’s Super Rugby Pacific squad during their 2022 campaign.

 

ACT Brumbies flyhalf, Nathan Carroll said: “Joining the club’s Super Rugby Pacific squad is a dream come true.”

 

“Coming down to Canberra has been the best decision I’ve ever made, and I just want to thank the Brumbies pathways staff, especially Dan Hooper for their support and of course, everyone at Queanbeyan who made me feel so welcome and I’ve made friends for life there.

 

“Obviously playing Super Rugby is the goal now but I know that starts with having a good preseason this year and working hard every day on my game.”

 

Halfback Thorn developed in the Brumbies Academy program in 2022, and graduates straight to the club’s Super Rugby Pacific squad to continue his development with Ryan Lonergan and Nic White.

 

A Randwick junior, Thorn has been in excellent form for the ACT Brumbies u19s side having excelled at senior club level with Gungahlin Eagles this season.

 

ACT Brumbies halfback, Klayton Thorn said: “I’m really excited to be stepping up to the senior squad.”

 

“Growing up playing for Randwick, you’re aware of all the players who’ve made the move to Canberra to join the Brumbies and with two absolutely world class nines at the club, it’s the best place for me to learn and develop.”

 

Carroll and Thorn’s graduation means a total of six Brumbies pathways players will join the club’s 2023 Super Rugby Pacific squad, with outside backs Corey Toole and Declan Meredith, backrow Charlie Cale and prop Harry Vella also stepping up to the senior group.

 

ACT Brumbies General Manager Professional rugby and pathways, Chris Thomson said: “Firstly, I must congratulate (former General Manager Professional rugby and pathways) Chris Tindall and our pathways staff for their work in identifying and developing these players for them to now earn the chance to join our Super Rugby squad.”

 

“Both Klayton and Nathan are in a fantastic spot in their careers where they can come into an established group and contribute while learning and developing at the same time, but they’ve earned this opportunity and with a really important preseason ahead of them, our job as a
high-performance staff is to make sure they are ready to go if required.”

Content & Images from – Brumbies Rugby


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