2016 Bond University Queensland Country squad announced ahead of Buildcorp NRC

Aug 15 • General News, International • 1355 Views • Comments Off on 2016 Bond University Queensland Country squad announced ahead of Buildcorp NRC

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Queensland Rugby Union (QRU) today announced the Bond University Queensland Country squad ahead of the 2016 Buildcorp National Rugby Championship (NRC).

The 31-man squad features 18 players with country Queensland backgrounds, as well as 21 previous squad members.

A total of 16 players from BLK Queensland Premier Rugby have been selected, alongside 15 players with Super Rugby experience. Wallabies captain Stephen Moore has been named, alongside fellow Wallabies James Slipper, Rob Simmons, Ben Daley and Saia Fainga’a, as well as former Fijian Sevens representative Apisai Naiyabo and former World Cup Winning All Black Brad Thorn.

Thorn will act as a player/coach for the team, having been named as assistant coach (forwards) last week.

Having played in all 16 NRC matches Queensland Country has contested since the inception of the competition, scrumhalf James Tuttle will again captain the side in 2016, having led the team during the 2015 season.

Tuttle also captained both the Queensland and Australian U20s earlier in 2016, and will be joined by six of his teammates from both squads.

With training for the Country side beginning this week, head coach Toutai Kefu said he was excited to get underway with preparations for the 2016 season.

“We’ve put together a solid squad for 2016, with a great mix of youth and experience,” Kefu said.

“While we have a number of young players in the squad, many of them are heading into their second or third NRC season.

“With so many players returning this year, it will allow us to build upon the previous two seasons as we look to push for higher honors in 2016.
“We’ve seen the NRC help launch the careers of a number of players who are now vying for test selection, and players such as James Tuttle and Campbell Magnay have gone on to feature for the Reds after earning valuable game time in the NRC.

“The competition presents a great opportunity for these players and we’ll use that as motivation as we prepare for Round 1.”

For Tuttle, he is looking forward to engaging with the Queensland Country Rugby community again in 2016.

“It’s important for us to represent the Rugby community in country Queensland and we’re looking forward to once again playing games in regional areas,” Tuttle said.

“We’ve got players throughout the squad that attribute much of their development to their earliest involvements with the game in their home regions. Playing for Country in the NRC allows them to promote the pathway opportunities that exist in regional Queensland for the next generation.”

In 2014 QRU announced it would field two teams in the NRC as an important piece in its talent identification, recruitment and development – as part of its pathway and high-performance strategy.

Now entering its third year, the NRC is a domestic Rugby competition featuring eight teams. It has been designed to give players another link in their development pathway towards Super Rugby and ultimately Wallabies selection.

Queensland Country will play all three of its 2016 home games in regional areas of Queensland, taking on the University of Canberra Vikings and the Sydney Rays at Bond University, before hosting the NSW Country Eagles in Toowoomba.

Tickets are now on sale for all Queensland-based NRC matches at www.redsrugby.com.au.

Tickets start at just $5 for juniors, $10 for concession and $15 for adults when purchased online prior to the match.

2016 Queensland Country Squad

Player Age Club Rep Honours Country Background
Props
Sef Fa’agase* 24 UQ ARU National Academy, Brisbane City NRC (2014), Queensland Country (2015), Reds, Reds A Queensland Country U19 representative
Richie Asiata 20 Easts Queensland Schoolboys (2013, 2014), Australian Schools (2014), Queensland U20s (2016), Australia U20s (2016)
Taniela Tupou* 20 Brothers Tongan U14s, Pacific Barbarians (2014), Queensland Country (2015), Reds (2015-)
Ben Daley* 28 Bond Australian U19s (2006), QAS Reds Academy (2007), Australian U20s (2008), Queensland Reds (2008-2016), Wallabies (2010, 2011) Gold Coast Junior
Kirwan Sanday* 25 Easts Sydney Stars (2015)
James Slipper* 27 Bond Reds (2010-), Australian Schoolboys (2007), Australian U20s (2009), Australia A (2010), Wallabies (2010-) Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast Rugby Junior, Bond University Premier Rugby (Gold Coast), The Southport School
Hookers
Feleti Kaitu’u 22 GPS Queensland Schoolboys (2011), Australia Schoolboys (2011), Reds A (2014), Australian U20s (2014)
Alex Casey 25 Souths Brisbane City NRC (2015)
Saia Fainga’a* 29 GPS Australian Schoolboys (2003-2004), Australian Under 19s (2006), Brumbies (2007-2008), Reds (2009-), Wallabies (2010-), Queensland Country NRC (2014, 2015)
Stephen Moore 33 Easts (ACT) Reds (2003-2008) (2017-)
Brumbies (2009-2016), Wallabies (2005-)
Rockhampton Junior
Locks
Izack Rodda 19 Easts Queensland Schoolboys (2014), Australian Schoolboys (2014), Australian U20s (2016)
Tyrell Barker* 28 Easts Queensland Academy of Sport U19s (2007), Queensland Country (2015)
Brad  Thorn 41 GPS Brisbane Broncos, Queensland (State of Origin), Australian Kangaroos, Canterbury ITM, Tasman ITM, Crusaders, Sanix Blues, Leinster, Highlanders, Leicester, All Blacks
Phil Potgieter* 21 UQ Queensland Schoolboys (2012) Australia A Schoolboys (2012) Queensland U20s (2014-2015), Queensland Country (2015), Australian Barbarians (2015, 2016) Toowoomba Grammar School, Darling Downs Rugby junior
Rob Simmons* 27 Sunnybank Reds (2009-), Queensland Schoolboys (2006), Australian Schoolboys (2006), Australian U19s (2007), Australian U20s (2008), Wallabies (2010-) Raised in Theodore, Central Queensland
Backrowers
Angus Scott-Young 19 UQ Queensland U16s (2013), Queensland U20s (2015, 2016), Australian U20s (2016)
Jack Cornelsen* 21 UQ Queensland Schoolboys (2011-2012), Australian Schoolboys (2012), Queensland Sevens (2015), Queensland Country (2015), Australian Sevens Development team (2015) Gold Coast Rugby junior
Connor Mitchell* 22 UQ Queensland Schoolboys (2011), Queensland Country (2015), Australian Sevens (2016) Sunshine Coast Rugby junior
Maclean Jones* 20 UQ Australian U20s (2015, 2016), Queensland Under-20s (2015, 2016), Australian Schoolboys (2013), Queensland Schoolboys (2013), Queensland Country (2015) Raised in St.George (Darling Downs)
Apisai Naiyabo 30 Norths Fiji Sevens
Lolo Fakaosilea* 21 Sunnybank Reds (2015-), Australian U20s (2014-2015), Queensland U20s (2014-2015), Reds A (2014), Australian Schoolboys (2012-2013), Queensland Schoolboys (2012-2013), Queensland U16s (2011) Central Queensland Rugby (Emerald) junior, Represented Central Queensland at Junior State Championships (2011)
Scrumhalves
James Tuttle* (C) 19 GPS Queensland U20s (2014, 2015, 2016), Australian U20s (2015, 2016), Queensland Schoolboys. Queensland Country (2014, 2015);
Scott Malolua* 23 Souths Queensland Country (2015)
Issak Fines-Leleiwasa, 20 Sunnybank Queensland Schoolboys (2013) Far North Queensland junior – Port Douglas Reef Raiders / Gold Coast – The Southport School
Flyhalves
Mack Mason* 20 Easts Queensland U16s (2013),
Melbourne Storm U20s (2015), Queensland Country (2015)
Born in Cairns / Raised on family property outside of Mitchell
Mitch Third 20 Bond Queensland Schoolboys (2013), Australian Schoolboys (2013), Canberra Vikings (2015) Gold Coast Junior, Bond University Premier Rugby
Centres
Duncan Paia’aua* 21 Norths Reds (2015-), Queensland U16s, Broncos U20s (2013-2014), Queensland U20s (2015), Australian U20s (2015), Queensland Country NRC (2014, 2015) Rockhampton Rugby Junior
Matt Gordon* 21 Easts Queensland U15s, U16s, Combined Secondary Schools (2011), Queensland Country (2015) Darling Downs Rugby junior, Downlands College (Toowoomba)
Campbell Magnay* 19 GPS Queensland Schoolboys (2013), Australian Schoolboys (2013), Queensland U20s (2015, 2016), Australian U20s (2015, 2016), Queensland Country (2014, 2015), Reds (2015-)
Josh Birch 21 UQ Newcastle Nights U20s (2013-2015) Kingaroy/Bundaberg
Outside Backs
Izaia Perese* 19 Easts Reds Elite Development Squad (2015), Queensland U20s (2015), Australian Schoolboys (2014), Queensland Schoolboys (2014), Queensland U16s (2013), Queensland Country (2015)
Tom Banks* 22 UQ Queensland U20s (2014), Queensland Schoolboys (2011-2012), Reds (2015, 2016), Queensland Country (2015)
Tyronne Lefau* 25 Wests Western Force (2012, 2013), Counties Manukau ITM (2013) Queensland Country (2015)
Liam McNamara 19 Sunnybank Queensland U20s (2016), Australian U20s (2016), Australian University Rugby Sevens (2016)
Eto Nabuli 27 GPS Penrith Panthers (2014), St.George Dragons (2015), Fiji Rugby League (2014,2015), Reds (2016-)
Tom Pincus* 24 UQ Queensland Country NRC (2014, 2015) Gold Coast Rugby junior

*Denotes returning player

2016 Queensland Country Staff
Head Coach: Toutai Kefu
Assistant Coach (Defence): Jason Gilmore
Assistant Coach (Forwards): Brad Thorn
Head of Physical Preparation: Dave Ballard
Team Manager: Nico Andrade
Team Analyst: Michael Todd
Team Doctor: Gary Mitchell
Head Physiotherapist: Gina Nelson
Media Manager: Brendan Hertel

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