Bond University Queensland Country head coach Steve Meehan has called experienced Queensland Premier Rugby flyhalf Matt Brandon into his squad ahead of the its first match of the Buildcorp National Rugby Championships (NRC) next Saturday, 30 August, at Bond University.
Brandon, who joins the squad from Brisbane club Easts, has been brought into the squad as injury cover for St.George Queensland Reds utility Ben Lucas, who has been ruled out for the duration of the NRC season after undergoing surgery on his left ankle.
Meehan believes Brandon will be a great addition to the squad, offering plenty of knowledge after playing Rugby at different levels both in Australia and overseas.
“Matt is a very experienced player having been capped at Super Rugby level and spending time playing professionally overseas. The Country team will benefit greatly from that,” Meehan said.
“I was particularly impressed with his strategic play last season for Easts. I felt his performances played a significant part in them winning the Hospital Cup.”
At 28 years old, Brandon has an impressive list of representative honours including time spent at Connacht in Ireland (2007-2008), Yokogawa in Japan (2009-2010) and in 2011 made his Super Rugby debut for the Western Force against the Lions in Johannesburg.
He is also a two-time Queensland Premier Rugby player of the year, earning the honour in both 2007 and 2012.
A product of Anglican Church Grammar School in Brisbane, Brandon represented Queensland and Australian Schoolboys in 2003, and the Australian Under-19s in 2004 and 2005.
Brandon is looking forward to being involved in the NRC and is interested to see how the competition will help improve depth in Australian Rugby.
“The opportunity to play the game at a higher level and be involved in a professional set up is really exciting. The NRC will help development players and close the gap between club Rugby and Super Rugby,” Brandon said.
“I’m really looking forward to playing alongside Anthony Fainga’a again. We played together in the Australian Under 19s. I’m also excited to see how some of the younger players in the Country squad perform.”
Queensland Country will begin its 2014 NRC campaign next Saturday afternoon at Bond University against the NSW Country Eagles.
Rugby fans on the Gold Coast will be able to experience the match free of charge courtesy of hosts Bond University.
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