Legendary Queensland Fullback Chris Latham will don the Reds jersey one more time after Queensland Reds head coach Nick Stiles unveiled him as his Wildcard pick for the Brisbane Global Rugby Tens tournament today.
The 117-capped Queensland Red, who was once a team-mate of Stiles’, has been drafted in to add experience to the Reds squad for the two-day tournament, which takes place at Suncorp Stadium on February 11-12 next year.
With over 300 of the best Rugby’s players on earth on show, the inaugural event live on Fox Sports in Australia – will feature the ten professional Super Rugby franchises from Australia and New Zealand as well as French powerhouse club Toulon, Japan’s Panasonic Wild Knights, South Africa’s Blue Bulls and the Samoan international team.
Stiles said: “One of the great concepts with this 10-a-side tournament is you can bring in a marquee – a former player – and Chris Latham loved playing in front of his Queensland fans.
“He was an exciting footballer and he’s still in great shape. He’ll make a genuine impact for us and I’m sure the Queensland public will get right behind him and be rapt to see him in a Reds jersey again.”
Latham, who represented Queensland for a decade between 1998-2008 and retired from professional rugby in 2012, said: “I’m very humbled and honoured to be given this opportunity to come back into the Queensland family for the Brisbane Tens. I only realised how much I cherished wearing that Queensland jersey once I’d retired and I’m looking forward to passing on my experience and explaining to the younger generation coming through how much that jersey means to me. I won’t let that jersey down.
“I started coaching in Japan once I retired from playing and I love to keep fit and to show the guys by example what I expect from them on the field. I love running around with the boys at NTT Docomo In Japan at training. I look forward to the sessions when the boys are one man short so I can train with them.”
— Queensland Reds (@Reds_Rugby) December 5, 2016
Latham made his Wallabies debut in 1998 against France at the Stade de France in Paris. He went on to win 78 Test caps, 68 as a starter, crossing for 40 tries along the way. He is the second highest try scorer in Wallaby history, behind David Campese.
In the Reds jersey, he scored 211 points and crossed for 41 tries to become the State’s leading Super Rugby try scorer. In the 2002 Super Rugby season, he scored 10 tries and still holds the Reds’ record for the most tries scored in a Super Rugby season.
He won the ‘Australian Super 12 Player of the Year’ on four occasions (2000, 2003, 2004 and 2005) and he holds the record for the fastest try in Super 12 history (21 seconds vs Brumbies in 2003 at Ballymore).
He represented the Wallabies at three Rugby World Cups – 1999, 2003 and 2007. In 1999, Latham was a member of the World Cup winning squad, featuring in the earlier matches before missing out on a starting berth in the final. In the 2003 tournament, he scored an unprecedented five tries against Namibia at the Adelaide Oval.
Latham won his fourth and final Super 12 player of the year in 2005, before becoming the first backline player to win the John Eales Medal in 2006. Having returned from knee injury, Latham played all five of the Wallabies 2007 World Cup matches in France.
Towards the end of his career, he played 46 times for Worcester in England before finishing in Japan with Kyuden Voltex.
The Brisbane Global Rugby Tens, founded by major events company Duco Events – the creator of the NRL Auckland Nines tournament – will be presented in partnership with Tourism and Events Queensland and Brisbane City Council through Brisbane Marketing.
The Queensland Rugby Union has also played a leading role in the inception, creation and evolution of the concept.
Via Reds Media