Queensland Rugby Union has secured flanker Liam Gill on a one-year contract extension, keeping him with the St George Queensland Reds for the 2016 season.
The 23-year-old has been in career-best form in 2015, featuring in all but one of the Reds’ matches this season and leads the competition for turnovers forced, with 28 so far this year.
He is also the best in the competition for ruck involvements and third overall in back-row players for runs, with 133 this season.
Gill made his Queensland and Super Rugby debut in 2011 and has since earned 64 caps for Queensland. He made his Wallabies debut in 2012 and has 15 caps for Australia.
Queensland Rugby CEO Jim Carmichael said: “It’s extremely pleasing to be able to announce a contract extension for Liam, as there has been a fair bit of speculation about his future for some time. We have always said Liam believes the best place for him to play his Rugby is in Queensland, so to be able to confirm that is an important announcement for Queensland Rugby.”
Gill said he was looking forward to another year at Ballymore and the opportunity to improve on this year’s performances.
“I’ve got a lot of pride in the Reds jersey and that passion for Queensland played a big part in me staying,” he said.
“Queensland has been huge in my development and I didn’t want to walk out on the club. It’s good to know I’ll be here next year. I now have a new focus which is to help return the club to winning ways. We’ve got a lot of promising young guys in the squad which we need to continue to develop and if we do that, we’ve got a bright future.”
Reds head coach Richard Graham said: “It is fantastic news for the Reds. Liam has been part of our programs since he left school and it is significant that we are able to announce his extension before the season ends. He has had his most consistent season to date and that is a direct correlation to the way he has approached the season.
“He has been one of the standout loose forwards across the competition and the fact that he wants to continue his career at Ballymore is a strong show of support for the team and the environment.”
Queensland plays New South Wales in Sydney tomorrow in the 300th Rugby Union encounter between the two sides since they first met in 1882.
POB: Melbourne, VIC
School: St. Joseph’s College, Gregory Terrace
Representative honours: Australian Schools (2009), Australian Sevens (2009-2010), Commonwealth Games Sevens (2010, 2014) Australian Under 20s (2010-2012), Queensland (2011-), Australian Wallabies (2012-), Brisbane City NRC (2014).
Super Rugby debut: 2011 v Brumbies
Super Rugby caps: 64
Super Rugby points: 35
Test Rugby debut: 2012 v New Zealand
Test Rugby caps: 15