The St.George Queensland Reds have added versatility to their backline for this year’s Vodafone Super Rugby season signing Waratahs utility Bryce Hegarty.
Born and bred in Brisbane, Hegarty returns to Queensland after putting pen to paper at Ballymore through 2019.
The 26 year-old boasts 62 games of Super Rugby experience after playing three seasons with both the Rebels and the Waratahs.
Hegarty said he couldn’t wait to be back in Queensland and further his Rugby career under Brad Thorn.
“As a player it’s really exciting to have the opportunity to work with someone of Brad’s calibre and hopefully I can grow as both a player and leader under his tutelage,” said Hegarty.
“I am really looking forward to getting stuck in with all the boys. I have heard training has been both great and super tough and I’m excited to see and experience it myself.
“I am a Brisbane boy and a Queenslander at heart and am really looking forward to hopefully getting the chance to represent my state. I really love that traditional rivalry that comes with Rugby and especially Queensland v New South Wales, so it will be nice to be on the right side of the border now,” Hegarty added.
Reds head coach Brad Thorn said: “It’s good to have Bryce here at Ballymore. He’s a Queenslander and comes here with solid Super Rugby experience. He gives us depth in our backline at both fullback and flyhalf and is a handy kicking option too.”
Hegarty’s Rugby career began at high school where he proved a standout player at Marist College Ashgrove in Brisbane’s inner-west.
He soon followed in his father Steve’s footsteps, who played rugby league with Valleys in Brisbane, plus also with the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles as a fullback scoring 129 points across 23 matches between 1984-1986.
Following school, Bryce was signed by the Brisbane Broncos U20s side in 2011 before he made the switch back to the 15-man code two years later with the Melbourne Rebels.
He made his Super Rugby debut in May 2013 as the Rebels’ youngest squad member, before he briefly returned home to Brisbane at the backend of the season and played Queensland Premier Rugby with GPS, who finished runners-up to Easts in the Grand Final that year.
Hegarty left the Rebels at the end of the 2015 season and signed a deal to play in Japan’s Top League with Toyota Shokki Shuttles.
He arrived back in Australia the following year to take up a new Super Rugby contract with the Waratahs and went on to play 30 matches and score five tries for New South Wales.
Meanwhile, the Queensland Rugby Union (QRU) has granted Karmichael Hunt a release from his contract to join the New South Wales Waratahs.
QRU CEO David Hanham said: “It was a mutual decision for both us and Karmichael to see him finish with Queensland and sign with the Waratahs.”
Hunt played 32 matches for the Reds and scored four tries after making his Super Rugby debut for Queensland in 2015.
Position: Utility back
Place of birth: Brisbane
Senior Club: TBC
Junior Club: Samford Stags (Rugby League)
School: Marist College Ashgrove
Representative Honours: Melbourne Rebels (2013-2015), Toyota Shokki Shuttles (2015), New South Wales Waratahs (2016-2018)
Super Rugby Debut: 2013 v Blues, Auckland
Super Rugby Caps: 62
Super Rugby Points: 79 (12T, 5C, 3P)