Town – The Reds have
bolstered their backline depth for the 2019 season by signing former Blues
McGahan on a one-year contract along with Queensland
outside backs pairing Jock Campbell and Teti Tela.
McGahan has put pen to paper
through 2019 – so too Tela, who made his Reds debut earlier this year, while
Campbell has signed through 2020 after two standout seasons for Bond University
Queensland Country in the National Rugby Championship (NRC).
“It’s good to have Matt join us
here in Queensland,” said Reds head coach Brad Thorn.
“He’s a good fit and a welcome
addition to our squad. He comes to Ballymore having played elite Rugby in New
Zealand, as well as in Japan.”
McGahan said he couldn’t wait to
arrive at Ballymore and work under Thorn – a former All Blacks Rugby World Cup
“I’m very excited to come here to
the Queensland Reds – a place rich with history,” said McGahan.
“It’s a good opportunity to come
back and play Super Rugby again. I felt a couple of years ago there’s still
some left in me and 25 is a good age to reignite the hunger inside again.
“A big reason for my decision was
the head coach Brad Thorn. Just knowing his history, but the humbleness of him
too. What he did in the game of Rugby and rugby league, not too many people
have done and I’m just really looking forward to it.”
McGahan, who is Australian
qualified having been born in Sydney, comes to Ballymore with a good pedigree –
son of 32-Test former New Zealand Kiwis captain, Eastern Suburbs Roosters captain-coach,
plus 1987 Rugby League Golden Boot winner, Hugh McGahan.
Despite numerous approaches from
Rugby while still at high school in Auckland, McGahan followed in his father’s
footsteps and took up a Rugby League contract with the Melbourne Storm in the
NRL’s U20s competition.
After three years in Victoria and
still to earn a first-grade appearance with the Storm, he parted ways with
Rugby League and moved back to New Zealand in 2013 to play rugby again.
McGahan was signed by Mitre 10
Cup side North Harbour in 2014 and went on to play 12 Super Rugby matches with
the Blues between 2015 and 2016.
For the past two seasons, he’s
lived in Japan and has been playing for Top League side Yamaha Jubilo from
where he’ll join the Reds.
Thorn said: “Jock and Teti have
been rewarded for their hard work. I worked closely with them in 2017 during
the NRC with Queensland Country and it’s pleasing to see them take the next
step in their Rugby careers here at Ballymore.”
Campbell is a genuine product of
the Queensland Club Rugby system. He played in the Second XV at The Southport
School in 2013 and went on to star for University of Queensland in Queensland
Premier Rugby, forming part of their 2017 title side.
He has been a part of two Grand
Final teams in as many years playing with Queensland Country in the NRC,
including starting at fullback in last month’s decider against the Fijian Drua.
Tela was also a part of Country’s
2017 NRC title-winning team after strong performances in Queensland Premier
Rugby with Souths.
The Fijian-born flyer went on to
make his Super Rugby debut against the Sunwolves in the Reds’ final match of
the 2018 season.