Super Rugby


Queensland Rugby re-signs Slipper, Simmons and Frisby ahead of 2016 season

Captain James Slipper, vice-captain Rob Simmons and scrumhalf Nick Frisby have been re-signed to the St.George Queensland Reds for the 2016 season and beyond.

Slipper has signed for a further three years, through to the end of 2018, while Simmons and Frisby have been locked in until at least the end of 2017.

Slipper and Simmons, who were announced earlier this year as the captain and vice-captain of the Reds, grew up playing Rugby together on the Gold Coast at Rugby nursery The Southport School. They have progressed through age grade, schoolboys, Super Rugby and Test Rugby together.

Frisby has been part of the Queensland development pathways since 2011 when he joined the Reds Academy. He was named the side’s Rookie of the Year the following season and joined the full squad in 2013. 

Queensland Rugby CEO Jim Carmichael said: “To be able to announce that our captain, vice-captain and one of our most promising young players are recommitting to the Reds - a club they’ve been with since their professional careers began - is pleasing. 

“We deliberately elevated James and Rob to formal leadership roles at the start of this year and their continued commitment to Queensland allows us to build for future success with these two players at the foundation of our plans. They’re both young with plenty of Super Rugby and International experience and we believe they have their best Rugby ahead of them.

“Nick has continued to impress us as a talented young footballer. He has shown a lot of resilience over the last couple of seasons and stepped up as a senior player, despite his years, in recent months.”

Slipper, aged 26, has enjoyed a rapid rise at both Super Rugby and Test level, making his Reds and Wallabies debut in 2010. 

He has played 74 games for Queensland and 63 Tests for the Wallabies, including all of Australia’s matches at the 2011 Rugby World Cup. In 2014 he claimed the coveted Pilecki Medal for Reds players’ player of the year, along with the People’s Choice Award and Spirit of the Reds Award.

Slipper said: “I’m very happy to be remaining at Queensland for at least another three years. This is my home and I take great pride in representing my state. 

“To be named captain earlier this year was such an honour and very humbling. I’ve been at Ballymore since I was 18 years old and part of the Reds program now for eight years. There’s still plenty I want to achieve in this jersey.”

He was also named Wallabies vice-captain in 2014 and featured in all 14 of Australia’s matches last season.

Simmons, aged 27, made his Reds debut in 2009 and is now considered the premier lock in Australian Rugby having played 83 Super Rugby games and 50 Tests. Simmons was named Reds vice-captain in 2015 but only played his first game of the season two weeks ago after missing half the season due to a nerve injury in his shoulder.

The lock has been one of the most consistent Reds players in recent years and prior to this year had not missed a game of Super Rugby for Queensland since becoming a regular starter in 2011. Similarly, for the Wallabies, Simmons has missed just two of the last 29 Tests for Australia over the past two seasons.

Simmons said: “I’ve played here for seven years. I’ve enjoyed all my time here and I don’t think my time is up yet. I’m still highly motivated to perform for this club as a player and a leader.

“As James (Slipper) said, there’s still a lot to be achieved at the Reds and I feel I’ve still got plenty to offer at this club. We’ve had a bit of a transition of players over the last couple of seasons and it’s up to players like James and myself to help shape the future of this club.”

Frisby is just 22 years old and has already earned 35 caps for Queensland in the four seasons since making his debut. 

While he hasn’t spent much of this season in his desired position of scrumhalf, the versatile back was one of the most impressive players on show during the inaugural season of the National Rugby Championship and helped steer Brisbane City to the title.

Frisby said: “I love playing for Queensland because of the pride and tradition in the jersey. It's an honour to pull it on each week, in front of my family, friends and fans.

“The next two years I’m looking forward to having the opportunity to make the Number 9 jersey my own.  I've learnt so much from playing with Will (Genia) and he's given me so much. I'm looking forward to taking on the opportunity that lies ahead.”

Reds head coach Richard Graham said: “It is a great show of support to the organisation that both James (Slipper) and Rob (Simmons) have re-committed. It also demonstrates their passion for the Reds and their determination as leaders to continue building the team as we move forward.

“James has had a tough initiation as captain. There hasn’t been a great amount of continuity in selection and we have faced some other adversities, however I am impressed by his care for his teammates and the time and effort he puts in.

“James has played more than 70 games for the Reds and more than 65 for the Wallabies. As a front row forward that is a remarkable achievement in the modern game. At only 25, he is regarded as one of the best props in the world. The wonderful thing for the Reds is we believe James still has further improvements left in his game. The fact that he is staying at Ballymore and can continue to work on those improvements here at the Reds is great.

“Whilst the start to 2015 hasn’t been easy for Rob, the work he has done on the sidelines demonstrates his desire to do well for the Reds. His commitment to the Reds for the next two years is a great show of the belief he has in the organisation. 

“As a young tight forward, he has played more than 140 first class games and is the premier lineout caller in Australian Rugby. His desire to ensure that the set piece continues to evolve for the Reds is obvious.

“Rob is another we believe can develop further as both a leader and a player. The fact that we can work together here at Ballymore to help develop those aspects is an exciting prospect.

“I couldn’t be more pleased for Nick or the Reds. He has been with the team several years now and we have asked a lot of him in that time. Even now we are asking him to guide the team around at Number 10 and he couldn’t be more of a team player.

“Nick’s form throughout the 2014 NRC was a big reason why the team was successful. His continued exposure to Super Rugby in 2015 will further develop his game and I have no doubts he is a very, very good signing for the Reds as we move forward rebuilding the squad.

“He has worked hard to develop himself physically, is working with the coaches to further understand the game and has obviously sat alongside a very good mentor in Will (Genia). His roots are deeply imbedded in Queensland and he is another young member of the squad passionate about the Reds.”

The Reds play the Hurricanes at Suncorp Stadium this Sunday, 26 April, at 4:05pm in an ANZAC Round clash, commemorating 100 years since the landing at Gallipoli. 

James Slipper
Height: 186cm
Weight: 117kg
DOB: 06/06/1989
POB: Gold Coast, QLD
School: The Southport School
Club: Bond University
Super Rugby debut: 2010 v Waratahs, Brisbane
Super Rugby caps: 74
Test Rugby debut: 2010 v England, Perth
Test Rugby caps: 63
Rep honours: Australian Schoolboys (2007), Australian Under 20s (2009), Australia A (2010), Australian Wallabies (2010-), Rugby World Cup (2011)

Rob Simmons
Height: 200cm
Weight: 115kg
DOB: 19/04/1989
POB: Theodore, QLD
School: The Southport School
Club: Sunnybank
Super Rugby debut: 2009 v Bulls, Pretoria
Super Rugby caps: 83
Test Rugby debut: 2010 v South Africa, Brisbane
Test Rugby caps: 50
Rep honours: Australian Schoolboys (2006), Australian Under 19s (2007), Australian Under 20s (2008), Australian Wallabies (2010-), Rugby World Cup (2011)

Nick Frisby
Height: 184cm
Weight: 84kg
DOB: 29/10/1992
POB: Brisbane, QLD
School: Marist College Ashgrove
Club: GPS
Super Rugby debut: 2012 v Sharks, Durban
Super Rugby caps: 34
Rep honours: Australian Under 20s (2012)

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