Regional Queensland offers wealth of rugby talent

Steve Anderson may now be in Perth heading up the Future Force as part of the Western Force, but he still has his eye on regional Queensland.

Steve was interviewed by ABC Radio to comment on Stephen Moore’s retirement as Wallaby’s captain, as Moore is a central Queensland success story.

And there’s been steady stream of players out of this region, including Johan Placid and Duncan Paia’aua currently.

“They are all local products and even as recently as this year I’ve drafted in young Liam Fletcher from the local Brother’s Club and he’s had a good 12 months with me now.”

“So that link with the region is quite strong and local product coming out of the region will continue in the coming years,” Steve said.

Stephen Moore has been an inspiration to players, as he’s come through a similar player, having grown up in Mt Morgan and Rockhampton.

Although Steve is now with the Western Force, he still has his eye firmly on central Queensland.

“It’s on Queensland Country as a whole – there are 11 sub-districts within Queensland, and obviously I have an affinity with the area, and in particular CQ.

“But Onehunga Mata’uiau – I worked with him for a number of years setting up the program in recent years, and One’s one of my main contacts  and he does a bit of recruitment for us, so I stay in contact  with him regularly,” Steve said.

“And I was familiar with young Liam, being in one of my academies a few years ago. But certainly Onehunga kept an eye on him, developed him further and got him to a level that we were looking for to bring him into the High Performance program last year.”

“But certainly Queensland Country… there’s plenty of talent in the region and we just to keep an eye that talent and offer the correct pathways and correct programs to ensure the kids get a shot at the next level.”

So if you’re a player in regional Queensland – or regional Australia – there are pathways. Just keep working hard! And thanks, Steve, for the kind words.

Have a great week,

Onehunga Mata’uiau

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