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Queensland Reds return to Townsville for two historic matches in 2023

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For the first time in Queensland Rugby Union (QRU) history, the Queensland Reds will play two games in Townsville next year as the 2023 Super Rugby Pacific draw was officially announced today.

As part of the QRU’s long-term investment in North Queensland, the Reds will return to Townsville not once, but twice as Queensland Rugby celebrates its 140-year anniversary in 2023.

The Reds will kick-off their season against Kiwi powerhouse the Hurricanes at Queensland Country Bank Stadium on 25 February, before taking on traditional rivals New South Wales in Round 11 at the same venue on 6 May.

After last year’s Trans-Tasman clash against the Chiefs in Townsville, the two historic fixtures will continue Queensland’s strong connection with regional communities following the successful Reds to Regions tours across the state in what shapes as a not-to-be-missed opportunity for regional Rugby fans.

South-East Queensland supporters won’t feel left out either with five blockbusters at Suncorp Stadium including home games against both of last season’s Grand Finalists – the Crusaders and Blues, another classic cauldron grudge-match against the Brumbies, plus entertaining encounters with the Force and Fijian Drua.

QRU CEO David Hanham said: “North Queensland is a critical market for Rugby and Townsville is key to the QRU’s long-term strategy for the region.

“These two matches will provide the QRU and our regional communities further opportunity to connect following the successful Reds to Regions visits across the state as we once again bring Rugby to North Queensland.

“North Queensland has been an essential part of Rugby’s history and it was important for us to recognise this with Reds games being played across all of Queensland next year as Queensland Rugby celebrates its 140-year anniversary.

“To have Reds matches in both northern and southern Queensland next year is a great result for Rugby fans across the state and I’d like to thank the Palaszczuk Government, Townsville City Council, Townsville Enterprise Limited, Stadiums Queensland and Tourism and Events Queensland for their support to ensure these two matches could take place.

“We were unable to play at Suncorp Stadium in Round 1 due to a double-booking with a concert on at the stadium. We worked collaboratively with SANZAAR and Rugby Australia to look at options around the draw, but it couldn’t be changed, and so we felt it was a good opportunity to take a second game to Townsville.

“We’ve got five quality home matches at Suncorp Stadium including games against the Blues and Crusaders who finished top of the table last season. We’ve got another match against the Brumbies who we’ve created a great rivalry with, plus exciting clashes against the Fijian Drua and Force which all makes for a great draw next year,” said Hanham.

Tourism and Sport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe welcomed the return of great Rugby to Townsville’s Queensland Country Bank Stadium.

“We built a world-class, state-of-the-art stadium in Townsville to bring more national and international sporting events to North Queensland,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“There’s pent-up demand for elite Rugby in the North with a growing Reds supporter base and a huge appetite for international and Trans-Tasman games.

“We know when Rugby is live in Townsville, fans from Queensland and interstate will follow and contribute millions of dollars to the region’s visitor economy.

“Our green and gold runway to the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games is primed to deliver two golden decades of opportunity for more first-class Rugby content in the North.”

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said: “The Reds return to Townsville for matches against the Wellington Hurricanes and New South Wales Waratahs demonstrates once again Townsville’s reputation as an elite sporting capital.

“To lock in the opening match of the international season, as well as the always highly-anticipated Reds versus Waratahs game, will not only see our city beamed into the homes of tens of thousands of viewers from across Australia and internationally, but at a local level will provide our rugby-loving North Queensland community the chance to engage directly with some of their sporting heroes.”

Townsville Enterprise Director – Visitor Economy & Marketing Lisa Woolfe said: “We acknowledge the work of our local and state governments in securing another world-class event for Townsville and North Queensland.

“This is another coup for our Queensland Country Bank Stadium which time and time again has proven it can be a strong economic driver for our city and showcases our region as the events and sporting capital of Northern Australia.

“Based on hosting previous Queensland Reds and Rugby Union games in Townsville, we estimate the economic impact will be at least $2M to the region and will showcase our destination to millions, putting us top of mind for future visitors.”

In addition to the two matches in Townsville, Queensland will play a historic match in Samoa as Moana Pasifika take their Round 8 home match to Apia while the Reds will also play the Drua in Fiji for the first time in the final round of the competition.

Sunday afternoon Rugby also returns to Suncorp Stadium for the first time in four years as Queensland host the Fijian Drua in their opening match at the cauldron in Round 4.

The match will be one-of-two Sunday afternoon games for the Reds with seven Friday night matches and five Saturday games in 2023.

As previously announced, Super Round is back at AAMI Park in Melbourne where all 12 teams will once again gather for a high-stakes festival of Rugby as Queensland battles the Western Force in Round 2.

The 2023 draw will see all 12 teams play 14 matches during a 15-week regular season including 11 round-robin fixtures plus three additional rivalry matches, as well as a three-week eight-team Finals Series with all 91 matches live and exclusive on Stan Sport.

For the first time Queensland Rugby will offer a unique membership for the two games in Townsville allowing North Queenslanders the chance to get even more involved with the Reds.

Visit reds.rugby for more details on 2023 Reds Memberships at both Suncorp Stadium and Queensland Country Bank Stadium.

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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Super Rugby

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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