Houston coming home

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Leroy Houston is coming back to Queensland, catapulted into the Wallabies squad ahead of the England Test series.

Houston, 29, has signed with the Reds until the end of 2018, after spendin the last three seasons at Bath in the English Premiership, following stints in France.

The backrower played in the Reds’ 2011 championship before heading overseas, but has become a cult figure at Bath in recent seasons.

Houston has been touted as a potential bolter for the Wallabies squad in recent weeks, before his recruitment to Queensland was announced on Thursday.

Leroy Houston representing Australia U19s in 2005. Photo: Getty Images

In a statement, Houston said Queensland was the only team he considered returning to this season.

“Queensland and the Reds are my home, so there was no other choice when I decided to come back to Australia,” he said.

“I have awesome memories of my time at Ballymore. There’s a good bunch of young lads at the club and some really experienced players there too.

“I’m looking forward to getting back there and contributing to what they’re trying to build.

Houston has been part of the Reds’ rebuilding cycles before, having played at the club from 2008 until their championship-winning season of 2011.

“I was there in 2008 when it was tough going, so I know what it’s like to experience that, but we won the title in my last year and hopefully I can share some of my experiences with the current group.

“There’s a lot of potential there and I can’t wait to be a part of it.”

If picked in Cheika’s 23 during the Test series, Houston would be making his Test debut, though he has represented Australia at U19 and U21 levels, as well as playing for Australia A in his career.