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The Queensland Reds have finalised their Reds Academy squad for 2011 after a season where several players broke through into Super Rugby and one into the Wallabies squad.
Reds Coach Ewen McKenzie has announced 21 players will be part of the Academy for 2011 including several new names across three tiers, from contracted players to those playing for the opportunity. The players have already commenced training for the 2011 season in conjunction with the Reds.
The Academy will again be run by head coach Paul Carozza who has been responsible for identifying and bringing through some of the great talent that exists in Queensland Rugby today.
Coach McKenzie said there has been a philosophical change with the Academy. “We have modified the academy to position it closer to the needs of the Reds. It includes up and coming players, players to support the Australian sevens program and also players who can suit up tomorrow and play for the Reds. Remember next season is significantly longer and we used 37 players this season while we only had 32 players contracted”.
The Academy List includes:
Michael Bermingham (Easts)
David McDuling (Club TBC)
Blake Enever (Sunshine Coast)
Ben Coridas (Club TBC)
Jarrad Butler (Gold Coast)
Kevin Davis (Qld University)
Beau Robinson (Souths)
Michael Stolberg (Easts)
James Charalambous (Easts)
Shon Siemonek (Sunshine Coast)
Tim Buchanan (Qld University)
Ian Prior (Qld University)
Mat Lucas (Sunnybank)
Jono Lance (Qld University)
Dallan Murphy (Brothers)
Simon Morahan (Qld University)
Joel Faulkner (Easts)
Tevita Kuridrani (Qld University)
Aidan Toua (Easts)
Mitchell Felsman (Brothers)
Nick Frisby (GPS)
Amongst the Academy are fourteen new names – thirteen from Clubs and one from the Queensland Schools program. “This just shows the importance of club rugby in Queensland at the moment. The schools are continuously producing top talent and the Clubs are playing a critical role in the ongoing development of that talent, so the players can take the next step” said Carozza.
Several players from the successful 2010 Queensland University premiership team have been selected including Australian U20’s players Ian Prior and Jono Lance, former English U20 prop Kevin Davis, second row Tim Buchanan and Sevens prospect Tevita Kuridrani. Prop Shon Siemonek, from the Sunshine Coast Stingrays, was rewarded for his good season with the Grand Finalists.
Toua, Butler, Felsman, Morahan, Lance, Enever, and Lucas are all returning for their second year in the program.
Colts player of the season, Nick Frisby from GPS has been included. Promising frontrower, Michael Bermingham from the Brisbane Grammar School has been selected after progressing through the talent pathway.
“Once again we have been able to select some very talented and determined players to be part of the Reds for next year. They will train as a group and with the Reds in pre-season to provide some depth and competition given that 12 of our Reds players are on tour with the Wallabies squad” said Carozza
The Academy includes three players joining Queensland club rugby from other states.
Former Waratah’s contracted players Ben Coridas and Beau Robinson have decided to continue their rugby in Queensland as has former Australia under 20 second rower Dave McDuling.
The Academy also includes a number of players targeted for the Australian Sevens program.
“The Academy program was very successful this year with eight players contracted to the Reds squad for 2011. Several players had playing opportunities with the Reds in 2010, notably Jake Schatz who played in most of the games. Silver Medalists Liam Gill and Kimami Sitauti represented at the Commonwealth Games 7’s alongside former Academy member Luke Morahan,” said McKenzie
“James Slipper was also a stand-out for the Reds Academy becoming a regular Wallaby team member through the test matches this year.”
16 FEBRUARY 2019