Reds lock in Tate McDermott, Fraser McReight until 2023

Super Rugby
by Emma Greenwood

Hot on the heels of announcing the signature of Wallabies prop Taniela Tupou for the next four years, the Reds and Rugby Australia have locked in two of Australia rugby's most exciting young talents, with Tate McDermott and Fraser McReight signing with the club until 2023.

The deal ensures the pair will remain in Australia until at least the next World Cup in France in 2023.

Young halfback McDermott had a breakout year for the Reds, with his form at one stage having him mentioned as a World Cup bolter.

An ankle syndesmosis injury cut his year short, but the 20-year-old returned to the field a fortnight ago and played a key role in helping the University of Queensland to a place in Sunday's Queensland Premier Rugby grand final.

Tate McDermott is all smiles after helping the Reds to a win in Tokyo. Photo: Getty Images

"I'm excited to sign for another four years with Queensland – a team I’ve not only grown up watching, but supported my whole life,"  McDermott said.

"With Brad (Thorn) and his coaching team, we are starting to build something incredibly special, attempting to not only restore the pride but continue the legacy associated with the maroon jersey.

"I cannot wait to make my mark on the Queensland Rugby landscape. There's a lot of hard work still to be done before the start of the 2020 season, but alongside some of my best mates, I can’t wait to rip in."

McDermott is set to play a major role in the battle for the Hospital Cup on Sunday after playing his first full game back from injury last weekend.

Tate McDermott is gaining confidence in his ability on the big stage. Photo: Getty Images

“I had eight weeks out there and it wasn’t the end of the world but like anyone with an injury will tell you, it was pretty frustrating sitting back and watching the boys go to work," he said.

“So it was awesome to be out there in and amongst it and I’m really looking forward to making amends for last year’s grand final (loss)."

A purple patch midway through the Super Rugby season had McDermott pitched as a World Cup bolter but the Sunshine Coast product paid little attention at the time and is not disappointed at how things have played out.

“It was more disappointing that (the Reds) put ourselves in a really good position to make finals, rather than me individually going on and trying for higher honours," he said.

‘I think that was the most disappointing past for me, that we’d trained and played so well in patches, but there were also those games where we let ourselves down and it was only us to blame.

“We’d built all this hype around believing for our fans and we let them down there in a sense which we have for the last eight years.

“But we’re definitely on the right track, which is positive.

“But I’m not getting ahead of myself yet. I’ve got a grand final to play and my focus is with UQ."

Among McDermott's grand final opponents at the weekend will be Junior Wallabies captain and Brothers back-rower McReight, who was among the players of the tournament at the World Rugby U20 championships in Argentina earlier this year.

Junior Wallabies captain Fraser McReight was proud of his players after they fought back to seal a bonus point in the loss to England despite being down to 14 men for 78 minutes. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart Walmsley

McReight made his Reds debut earlier this year, earning three caps off the bench before linking with the Junior Wallabies and is set to push new Wallaby Liam Wright for Queensland's no.7 jersey in the coming years.

"I am very excited to have inked a new deal with the Reds that will see me at Ballymore until the end of 2023," said McReight.

"With the help of Brad Thorn and the rest of the coaching staff, this opportunity will see me grow as a player and as a person.

"What made this decision very easy for me was we've got a fantastic playing group right now and it will only get better, as each player pushes each other to achieve their best results.

"Having the ability to grow and keep developing with this squad was a huge factor in signing this deal and I can't wait to get stuck in and deliver some great results over the next four years."

 

Thorn was thrilled to have secured the signatures of the pair.

“It’s great to have these two men here at Queensland for the next four years," Thorn said.

“Tate McDermott really stepped up and showed us his potential this year. He was recognised for his hard work with the no. 9 jersey in 10 matches for us this season.

"We’re excited to see Tate continue his development in Queensland.

Junior Wallabies captain Fraser McReight was outstanding for Brothers in their Queensland Premier Rugby major semi-final win over GPS. Photo: QRU Media/Brendan Hertel

“Fraser McReight is an outstanding young footballer. He was rewarded for his hard work when he made his Queensland debut in Round 6.

“He captained his country this year with the Junior Wallabies and led them to the final which is a great achievement. We look forward to seeing Fraser’s future here in Queensland."

Minor premiers Brothers take on UQ in the Hospital Cup final at Ballymore on Sunday, kicking off at 3:05pm, with the match LIVE on Foxtel and streamed at redsrugby and via the Reds' Facebook page.