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Season preview: Rugby

Women's premiership team photo

2023 at a glance

QPR: Minor Premiers. 

Slipper Trophy: Rhian Stowers

QPRW: Premiers. 

Club Champion: Ebony Griffin

The Fabian Fay Club Person of the Year: Peter Jones

Season Highlight: The girls claim back-to-back premierships at Ballymore.  

2024 the year ahead

Premier Men with Mick Heenan

Big ins: Tianua Poto (NZ), Fred Dorrough (Sydney), Fergus Gillan (TSS), Oliver Barrett (Nudgee), Jordan Lenac (Scotland), Nathan Beil (UQ)

Big outs: Lachlan Connors (UQ)

Captains: Tyler Campbell (c), Fred Dorrough (vc), Rhys Sheriff (vc)

Player to watch: Rhian Stowers who had an exceptional season last year and has stepped up since recovering from injury over the offseason.

Rhian Stowers

Don’t miss: Home games against Wests on 20 April, UQ 1 June (Brailsford/Brown Cup) and Brothers 20 July – those clubs are expected to be the competition benchmarks this year – will be high quality games not only in 1st grade but in all grades. Expect to see some Super Rugby players playing in the 1st grade games. 

Big improvers: Sunnybank and UQ are two clubs who had disappointing seasons in 2023 but have aggressively recruited in the offseason. We have Sunnybank first up on 6 April at The Canal so looking forward to seeing them in action.

What’s new: New coaching staff – Mick Heenan (Head Coach) Sean Hedger (Assistant Coach – Defence) Van Humphries (Assistant Coach – Forwards) Petrus du Plessis (Coaching Consultant). We have an unrivalled level of experience and expertise in our coaching ranks this year. We have been training all preseason as a squad in grades and expect improvement in our play across 1st/2nd and 3rd grade.

Welcome back: Fred Dorrough is a Gold Coast local who went to school at TSS before going away to Brisbane and then Sydney. He is back on the Coast and has embraced the challenge of playing five eight and stepping into the leadership group. A great example of the reason a QPR club was formed on the coast - so players have an opportunity to play QPR without having to leave.

Headline I’d like to see: Battle of the bookworms in the GF!

Predictions: I think Brothers Wests and UQ will be tough to beat. If I am thinking with my heart I would love to see us play UQ in the decider. Rhian Stowers to go back-to-back in the Alec Evans medal.

Premier Women with Shannon Symon

Big outs: Ebony Satala

Captain: Elisha Godsliff (c), Zoe Hanna (vc), Georgia Grey (vc).   

Georgia Grey

Players to watch: Co-Captain Zoe Hanna, I believe Zoe is one of the most underrated players in the competition, she is a powerful carrier of the ball with a great work rate. She will be big for us this year.

Don’t miss: The Grand Final… we will be there.

Big improvers: I believe Wests are poised for a big season, they have done a lot of work building great depth over the last few seasons and believe the efforts will start to bear fruit for them. 

Welcome back: Elaina Saluni, powerful and highly skilled she’ll be a great addition to the pack. 

What’s new: New coaching staff with Shannon Symon taking over from premiership coach Lawrence Faifua who will stay on as an assistant.   

Headline you’d like to see: Bond make it 3 in a row. 

Predictions: We will be there in the end, will be a tough start but we will build and be there at the big dance.  

Colts with Rico Gear 

Big ins: Oli Barret and Fergus Gillan 

Big outs: Wallaby U20 Harrison Usher (steps up into grade rugby in 2024)

Captain: Charlie McCauley. 

Player to watch:  Rocco Gollings - Dangerous player on attack and defence who punches well above his weight. Had a strong 7s season end of last year with Australia’s U18s and Bond Premier men’s team. 

Don’t miss: Brothers at home, they set the standard and are the team we’re all chasing.  

Big improvers: Wests look solid and finished back end of last season well. 

Welcome back:  Joe Murray missed the whole season last year with Injury. He looks strong and hungry to get on the field at loose forward. 

What’s new: This year is all about our connection as a group and adding themes to strengthen what we do on the field. 

Headline you’d like to see: New depth pushes Bull Sharks Colts into finals. 


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