Queensland Reds hooker James Hanson will leave the club at the conclusion of the 2015 Super Rugby season, after signing with the Melbourne Rebels.
Hanson made his Reds debut in 2010 and has played 80 games for Queensland. He has also played nine Tests for the Wallabies since making his debut for Australia in 2012.
A product of Brisbane’s St. Joseph’s College Gregory Terrace and Premier Grade club University of Queensland, Hanson progressed through the Queensland pathway after first representing the state at Schoolboys level in 2005. He joined the Reds in 2008 as a member of their academy squad and made his Super Rugby debut two years later.
Reds head coach Richard Graham said: “James and Saia Fainga’a have jostled for the starting role over the last couple of seasons. It was always going to be difficult to keep both James and Saia, especially when Saia is the incumbent Test hooker and is contracted through to the end of 2016.
“This opens up a great opportunity for Andrew Ready to build up a lot of experience. He’s a promising young hooker who already has a taste of Super Rugby and has the next three years of his contract to build on that experience.”
Hanson said while he was disappointed to be leaving his home state, he was looking forward to the new opportunities it would present.
“Queensland will always be my home and I have loved every minute I‘ve had the opportunity to play for the Reds,” he said.
“This was a difficult decision, but one I felt was in my best interests going forward. That being said, my current focus is on the remainder of the season and finishing well with the Reds.”
POB: Brisbane, QLD
School: Gregory Terrace
Club: University of Queensland
Representative honours: Queensland Schoolboys (2005), Australian Schoolboys (2005), Australian Under 19s (2006-2007), Australian Under 20s (2008), Australian Wallabies (2012-), Brisbane City NRC (2014).
Super Rugby debut: 2010 v Crusaders, Brisbane
Super Rugby caps: 80
Super Rugby points: 35