Former Rugby World Cup All Black Brad Thorn will begin playing for Bond University Queensland Country in the Round Six Buildcorp National Rugby Championship match against the NSW Country Eagles in Toowoomba on Saturday October 1.
Thorn made his debut from the reserves bench in Round Five against the Western Sydney Rams.Thorn will play alongside Izack Rodda in the starting second row, in Phil Potieter’s place, who is out due to injuries.
Head coach Toutai Kefu is confident that Thorn will benefit the team as a whole. “While we didn’t get the result last week, the team played some really good passages of Rugby and we’ve tried to keep some consistency in the starting team. The addition of Brad Thorn to the starting team will add a lot of experience to the starting side. It will be a great chance for many of our young players to learn from him directly on field, an experience that is invaluable.”
“Jurd has been working towards this game after making his debut against the Sydney Rays in Round 3, he can’t wait for the chance to play in front of his family and friends at home in Toowoomba.”
Four players with ties to the Darling Down region will line up for Queensland Country on Saturday, and Kefu believes these players are evidence of the pathway system that exists in country Rugby.
“Liam Jurd and Matt Gordon are both Toowoomba products who have come through the local ranks and have gone on to play representative Rugby, while Mack Mason (Mitchell) and Maclean Jones (St George) are examples of players who have emerged from more remote areas of the Downs.
“These players provide the Darling Downs juniors with something to aspire to and are testament to the pathway opportunities that exist in the region.”
Other changes include Ben Daley as loose-head prop, and former University of Southern Queensland (USQ) Saints Rugby Club junior and Toowoomba Grammar School old boy Liam Jurd return to the side to start on the wing.
Queensland Country play the NSW Country Eagles at 1:00pm on Saturday. Tickets are available via their website.
Words by Tayla Swales
Images supplied by Queensland Rugby