Sunday 22 October 2017 / 05:37 PM

Reds re-sign six promising youngsters

Queensland Reds have locked in six promising young players for the 2016 season and beyond.

Sef Fa’agase (prop), Michael Gunn (loose forward), Adam Korczyk (loose forward) and Andrew Ready (hooker) have committed to the club for three years, while Sam Talakai (prop) and Jamie-Jerry Taulagi (outside back) have signed for two years.

All six have made their Super Rugby debut for Queensland over the last two seasons and have been identified as future stars of the club.

Korczyk and Ready are the most recent debutants of the group, with the latter coming on as replacement hooker against the Hurricanes last weekend. Korczyk made his debut during the Reds’ two-week tour of South Africa and scored a try in just his second game of Super Rugby against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.

Queensland Rugby CEO Jim Carmichael said: “Over the past 18 months we have recognised the need to further strengthen our Queensland Rugby pathways. Of the six signings, four players are direct products of our development pathways.

“Having already announced that James Slipper and Rob Simmons will lead the Reds over the coming years, today’s announcement is a further demonstration of Queensland’s long-term planning for future success.”

Fa’agase, Gunn, Korczyk and Ready all progressed through Queensland Rugby programs before excelling for Brisbane City in the National Rugby Championship in their 2014 title run.

And while Talakai and Taulagi aren’t originally from Queensland, they too came to the Reds through Queensland Rugby’s pathways. New Zealander Taulagi signed as a developing foreign player with the Reds off the back of his performances in Queensland Premier Rugby in 2013 and Talakai was brought up to Brisbane from Sydney to play for Brisbane City in the NRC.

Reds head coach Richard Graham said it was important for Queensland Rugby to continue to build its pathways and recognise those up-and-coming players that had contributed strongly to Queensland.

“The signing of Sef (Fa’agase), Michael (Gunn), Adam (Korczyk) and Andrew (Ready) demonstrates how strongly we value the development of Queensland youngsters through our pathway programs,” he said.

“This season alone all four have made their debuts, along with 11 other players, and their signings will see them continue to develop here at Ballymore. It is a huge show of faith to our Rugby program and their desire to see Queensland Rugby continue to be strong.

“While Sam (Talakai) and JJ (Taulagi) aren’t originally from our development pathways, they came to Ballymore with a strong desire to further develop their talent and we have made clear over the past 18 months we are willing to look outside Queensland where we need to.

“Sam’s introduction through the successful NRC Brisbane City team led to his Elite Development contract. Of his eight Super Rugby caps, he has been our starting tighthead in five of them and through his improving performances in Super Rugby this year he has earned the further upgrade to be a member of the main Reds squad.

“This is the second year of JJ’s original deal. He was outstanding in the NRC for Queensland Country and carried that form into the pre-season trials. Unfortunately a knee injury has ruled him out of most of the 2015 Super season but I feel he has demonstrated some growth and we believe he will contribute strongly over the next two seasons.”

The announcement of the six follows on from recent news the Reds have re-signed captain James Slipper, vice-captain Rob Simmons and scrumhalf Nick Frisby, along with securing the signature of Melbourne Rebels lock Cadeyrn Neville.

Sef Fa’agase

Position: Prop

Height: 185cm

Weight: 117kg

DOB: 03/05/1991

POB: Auckland, New Zealand

Representative honours: ARU National Academy (2012), Reds A (2013-14), Brisbane City NRC (2014)

Super Rugby debut: 2015 v Brumbies, Canberra

Super Rugby caps: 7

Michael Gunn

Position: Loose forward

Height: 189cm

Weight: 96kg

DOB: 16/06/1995

POB: Brisbane, QLD

Representative honours: Queensland Schoolboys (2012), Australian Schoolboys (2012), Reds Under 20s (2014-15), Reds A (2014), Brisbane City NRC (2014)

Super Rugby debut: 2015 v Lions, Brisbane

Super Rugby caps: 1

Adam Korczyk

Position: Loose forward

Height: 192cm

Weight: 102kg

DOB: 14/02/1995

POB: Auckland, New Zealand

Representative honours: Queensland Schoolboys (2012), Australian Schoolboys (2012), Reds A (2014), Brisbane City NRC (2014), Reds Under 20s (2014-15)

Super Rugby debut: 2015 v Bulls, Pretoria

Super Rugby caps: 3

Andrew Ready

Position: Hooker

Height: 180cm

Weight: 107kg

DOB: 11/07/1993

POB: Brisbane, QLD

Representative honours: Queensland Schoolboys (2010), Australia A Schoolboys (2010), Reds A (2013-14), Australian Under 20s (2013), Brisbane City NRC (2014)

Super Rugby debut: 2015 v Hurricanes, Brisbane

Super Rugby caps: 1

Sam Talakai

Position: Prop

Height: 183cm

Weight: 116kg

DOB: 04/09/1991

POB: Sydney, NSW

Representative honours: Waratahs v British & Irish Lions (2013), Brisbane City NRC (2014)

Super Rugby debut: 2015 v Brumbies, Canberra

Super Rugby caps: 8

Jamie-Jerry Taulagi

Position: Prop

Height: 180cm

Weight: 89kg

DOB: 18/06/1993

POB: Auckland, New Zealand

Representative honours: Queensland Country NRC (2014)

Super Rugby debut: 2014 v Western Force, Brisbane

Super Rugby caps: 9

Add Comment

About the author

Comm Box Sports

Commentary Box Sports invites a forum of truth and uncensored discussion of not only Australia’s greatest past time, the worlds. We offer around the world, up to date coverage of the sports we love and live by.

More rugby-union News

Special Features

PARTNERS