Queensland's Wallabies to launch own Reds to Regions tour

Super Rugby
by Emma Greenwood

Such has been the success of its Reds to Regions tour, Queensland will launch the Wallabies edition next month when its Australian representative players return for the pre-season.

Reds players spent the opening three days of their pre-season visiting 22 regional areas around the state, taking part in school, hospital and club visits, as well as sponsor and council activations.

The main goal though is to connect with ordinary Reds fans in the regions - regular working people, many of whom are doing it tough at the moment due to a record drought plaguing the state.

 

Queensland's five Wallabies players - Izack Rodda, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, James O'Connor, Jordan Petaia and Taniela Tupou - will also head to work during their three-day sojourn that will take in North Queensland and the Scenic Rim, while being billeted with local families.

Hooker Brandon Paenga-Amosa is still on a high this week after visiting Gympie and the Sunshine Coast with fellow Reds player Bryce Hegarty and working on a cane farm during his Reds to Regions tour and believes the experience will be a boon for club's Wallabies.

"It's a huge blessing. They're going to be lucky to do that," Paenga-Amosa said.

"I loved it, the schools that I was able to attend and the rugby clubs that I was able to be with, it was unreal to really get out there and just share through rugby, it was a great experience."

In the recent past, the Reds have built teamwork and camaraderie through a pre-season camp at the Canungra Army Barracks in the Gold Coast Hinterland.

But Paenga-Amosa believes the Reds to Regions tours will help bring the team together just as much.

"I think the biggest thing for us is perspective, and that's why we did the army camps - there are people that are out there in the trenches and serving our country," he said.

"Here, perspective for us will be understanding what our farmers and (others in the regions) go through on a daily basis and remembering who we're representing - not just Brisbane but the whole state.

"There are people out there that are doing it tough - that are on the farms, tending sugar cane, taking care of cattle, all that stuff, just reminding us who we represent."

The Reds to Regions tour, Wallabies edition, will take place in mid to late December in North Queensland and the Scenic Rim regions.