The age-defying Brad Thorn has officially come out of retirement for the Buildcorp NRC.
At 41, the former World Cup winner was today unveiled as a player/coach for Queensland Country in 2016.
Thorn retired from professional rugby halfway through 2015 and has since been an assistant coach at the Reds at both the Under-20s and Super Rugby level.
The New Zealand international’s invaluable experience on and off the field will be coupled with that of Wallabies legend and the side’s head coach Toutai Kefu.
Kefu impressed with the opportunity and pathways the Buildcorp NRC provides for players to develop their rugby careers.
“We’ve seen the NRC help launch the careers of a number of players who are now vying for test selection, and players such as James Tuttle and Campbell Magnay have gone on to feature for the Reds after earning valuable game time in the NRC,” he said.
“The competition presents a great opportunity for these players and we’ll use that as motivation as we prepare for Round 1.”
Fan favourite Taniela Tupou was also named in the squad that contains a host of Australian Under-20s representatives, including captain James Tuttle who will also skipper Queensland Country.
The scrumhalf looking forward to once again representing the country rugby community.
“We’ve got players throughout the squad that attribute much of their development to their earliest involvements with the game in their home regions,” he said.
“Playing for Country in the NRC allows them to promote the pathway opportunities that exist in regional Queensland for the next generation.”
Queensland Country’s campaign gets underway against the UC Vikings on August 28 at Bond University.
Richie Asiata, Tom Banks, Tyrell Barker, Josh Birch, Alex Casey, Jack Cornelsen, Ben Daley, Sef Fa’agase, Saia Fainga’a, Lolo Fakaosilea, Matt Gordon, Issak Fines-Leleiwasa, Maclean Jones, Feleti Kaitu’u, Tyronne Lefau, Campbell Magnay, Scott Malolua, Mack Mason, Liam McNamara, Connor Mitchell, Eto Nabuli, Apisai Naiyabo, Duncan Paia’aua, Izaia Perese, Tom Pincus, Phil Potgieter, Izack Rodda, Kirwan Sanday, Angus Scott-Young, Brad Thorn, Taniela Tupou and James Tuttle.
Wallabies Marquee Players: Stephen Moore, Rob Simmons and James Slipper.