The St.George Queensland Reds have finalised their 2019 squad after signing prop Feao Fotuaika and utility back Jack Hardy.
Fotuaika has put pen to paper through 2019, while Hardy will be at Ballymore through 2020 after both successfully trialled with the Reds during pre-season training and were awarded with Queensland contracts.
Reds head coach Brad Thorn said: “Feao and Jack have been rewarded for their hard work. They’ve really impressed us over the past month. They’re good additions to our squad and provide good depth in both the frontrow and in the backline.”
Fotuaika is a product of the Queensland pathway having represented both his state and country at Schoolboys level, as well playing in the National Rugby Championship (NRC) for the past four seasons with McInnes Wilson Lawyers Brisbane City.
Hardy has come to Ballymore from Perth where he was a part of the Future Force program and has played U19s and Schoolboys with Western Australia.
The signings of both Hardy and Fotuaika confirm a 37 player squad for next year’s Vodafone Super Rugby season.
The Reds welcome three new additions in Sefa Naivalu, Bryce Hegarty and Matt McGahan, who all bring strong Super Rugby and Test experience to Ballymore.
In total, 27 players have been retained from Queensland’s 2018 squad, including Wallabies duo Brandon Paenga-Amosa and Scott Higginbotham, plus Bond University Queensland Country’s Harry Hoopert, Harry Hockings, Liam Wright, Tate McDermott and their captain Duncan Paia’aua.
17 players re-signed ahead of the 2019 season, including Wallabies representatives Taniela Tupou, Izack Rodda, Lukhan Tui, Caleb Timu and Samu Kerevi, in addition to Queensland Country stars Angus Blyth, Angus Scott-Young, James Tuttle, Chris Feauai-Sautia, Filipo Daugunu and Jordan Petaia.
Twins JP and Ruan Smith, plus their Brisbane City team-mates Adam Korczyk and Moses Sorovi also re-signed in 2018, as well as Alex Mafi and Aidan Toua.
In addition to Fotuaika and Hardy, there’s also six new signings, all of whom have been promoted from Queensland’s NRC teams including Fraser McReight, Gav Luka, Efi Ma’afu, Harry Wilson, Will Eadie and Jock Campbell.
“It’s good to start 2019 on a positive note with a complete squad,” said Thorn.
“We’ve managed to keep a consistent group of men. Roughly 90 percent have been retained from last year, or have come through the Queensland Pathway. We’ll keep working hard and look forward to the season ahead.”
Place of birth: Gisborne, NZ
Senior Club: Souths
School: St. Francis College
Representative Honours: Queensland Schoolboys (2011), Australian Schoolboys (2011), Brisbane City (2017-)
Position: Utility Back
Place of birth: Canberra, ACT
Senior Club: UWA
School: Churchlands Senior High (WA)
Representative Honours: Western Australia Schoolboys (2016), Western Australia U19s (2018)
St.George Queensland Reds 2019 Squad