Super Rugby


Aspiring Doctor joins UQ’s 100-try club

By Hamish Lees


University of Queensland winger Harry Parker joined the elusive 100-try club for the Red Heavies in the final round of the regular season.

Parker who’s only 24, scored his 100 tries in only 105 games played for UQ over colts, premier and reserve grades.

He’s been trying to balance the workload of playing Premier Rugby whilst studying to become a Doctor.

“It’s been a bit of a struggle the past two years, I come to training after being in the hospital all day, then I have to go home and try to do some study,” Parker said.

“I’m really enjoying playing Rugby though, it’s given me an escape from my studies.”

Parker leads Premier Rugby in tries scored this season with 13, but knows he wouldn’t be at the top without the vision of his teammates.

“That’s probably just a reflection of the team and our backline play this season, if your winger is scoring lots tries then the backline is doing their job.

“We have so many young guys playing great at the moment. Jock Campbell has been setting me up nicely, Nathan Russell has been breaking tackles all year and James Dalgleish has been on fire with the boot.”

UQ scored 117 tries across the regular season, 48 more than the Gallopers who have already booked their place in the grand final.

“It’s always great being out on the wing and getting a fair bit of ball, in pre-season we worked hard on having the skills to produce tries and making the most of our opportunities,” Parker said.

At 24, Parker finds himself as the oldest member of UQ’s youthful backline and he’s tried to be a leader throughout the club.

“I try to talk with the younger players at the club and learn a bit about them, especially when we train with the colts.

“That’s something that helped me when I was young coming through the system and I think that will help guys be more confident when they do come up to Premier grade.”

As the bulk of the side this season is 20 or younger, it has given most of the team a chance to come through the Colts system together.

“With everyone being so young, they came through colts together, allowing the guys to have some confidence and familiar faces when they come into Premier grade,” Parker said.

“We didn’t really have an experienced player that dominated all the talk and that gave some of the players a chance to speak up and be leaders.

“Our culture really allows our young players to take control, guys like Tate McDermott and Tony Hunt have come in this year and been comfortable from day one.”

UQ were outmuscled by an older, larger GPS side in the major semi-final on Sunday but that result set up an exciting rematch of the 2016 preliminary final.

Last year, the Red Heavies snatched a 32-31 win over Sunnybank when Tom Pincus nailed a long-range penalty goal.

With a grand final spot on the line, another close game is to be expected at Ballymore.