Queensland Country (NRC team)

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Queensland Country
Queensland Country (NRC team) logo.png
Bond University Queensland Country
Disbanded2020 (competition disbanded)
RegionQueensland Regions, excluding Brisbane  
(Cap: 5,000)
Bond Field No. 1, Robina
(Cap: 6,000)
Marley Brown Oval, Gladstone
Coach(es)Rod Seib
Captain(s)Angus Scott-Young
League(s)National Rugby Championship
2018Runner-up (finals)
2nd placed (regular season)
Team kit
Official website

Queensland Country is an Australian rugby union football team that competes in the National Rugby Championship (NRC). The team is one of two Queensland sides in the competition, the other being Brisbane City. Queensland Country is organised and managed by the Queensland Rugby Union (QRU), with the coaching and training programs used at the Queensland Reds extended to players joining the team from the Reds, Premier and Country rugby teams.[1][2][3]

The Queensland Country team in the NRC draws its identity from the Queensland Country representative team that has played in regular City-Country fixtures in Queensland since 1902.[1][4] The same colours have been adopted for the team in the NRC competition and, while the Heelers' cattle dog logo is not used, an emblem based on the traditional Cooktown Orchid logo of the Queensland Country Rugby Union has been adopted. The Queensland Country uniform is blue and white, with a crest of the orchid logo inside Queensland Rugby's traditional 'Q' on the jersey's chest.[1]

The NRC was launched in 2014, reinstating the national competition after the Australian Rugby Championship (ARC) was discontinued following the first season in 2007.[5] The Queensland Country NRC team plays in various Queensland regional centres. Existing QRU staffing roles and infrastructure are utilised, and the training base for the team is at QRU's headquarters at Ballymore.[1][2][3]


Rugby within Country Queensland began to gain significant popular support after the first intercolonial match between New South Wales and Queensland in 1882. Prior to this, Melbourne rules (Australian football) was more often played.[6] Regional centres such as Toowoomba, Rockhampton, Maryborough and Charters Towers established their own rugby unions in the 1880s and 1890s.[6]

Representative team[edit]

The first City-Country match between Brisbane and Queensland Country (selected from the rest of Queensland) was held at the inaugural Country Week carnival hosted by the QRU in 1902.[4] Despite several successful seasons, the Country Week carnivals ceased following the rise of rugby league after 1909. The start of the First World War brought rugby union to a halt in Queensland after 1914. Although the QRU was eventually revived in 1928–29, rugby languished in country regions of the state for many decades.[4]

City-Country matches were resumed in 1965.[7] From 1968 until 1982, annual Country Carnival competitions were held from which the Country team was selected to play Brisbane and other representative sides. The Country Carnival was discontinued in favour of State Championships in 1983.[8] While the format of competition has varied over time, City-Country matches between the Brisbane and Queensland Country representative teams have remained regular fixtures since.[6]

East Coast Aces (ARC team)[edit]

East Coast Aces logo.

In 2006, after setting up a consultative process culminating in a working session of some 70 delegates from around the country, the Australian Rugby Union announced that a new, eight-team national competition would commence in 2007 to compete for the Australian Rugby Championship (ARC).[9]

The East Coast Aces, based on the Gold Coast, was formed as one of two Queensland teams supported by the QRU in the ARC, alongside the Ballymore Tornadoes.[10] The Chairman of the Steering Committee for the Aces said that the team had selected a name that would embrace the various stakeholders at club level. He added:

Our team will draw on players and supporters from Cairns to Coolangatta—and possibly even rugby fans in northern NSW—in what is an exciting development for the code in Queensland.

— Peter Murdoch, Steering Committee Chairman, 2007.[11]
The East Coast Aces jersey in the ARC.

Queensland's two teams in the ARC were aligned with existing clubs and regions. The East Coast Aces team was aligned with Queensland Country and the Queensland Premier Rugby clubs south of the Brisbane RiverSouths, Easts, Sunnybank, and Gold Coast.[12][13] The Aces played home matches at Carrara Stadium on the Gold Coast.[14] The QRU had initially considered basing the team out of Ballymore,[15][16] before settling on the Gold Coast. The Aces' colours were black, blue and gold.[12]

The head coach of the Aces was John Boe, who was also head coach of the Gold Coast Breakers - one of the Ace's feeder teams.[17] Boe was a former All Black and World Cup coach (leading Samoa at the 2003 tournament) and a previous assistant coach at both the Chiefs and the Highlanders.[12][17] The assistant coach for the Aces was former Wallaby Garrick Morgan.[12]

The Australian Rugby Championship was terminated at the end of 2007 after only one season of competition, with the Australian Rugby Union citing higher costs than budgeted and further projected financial losses.[18] The Aces team was disbanded at the end of the ARC. The team had incurred significant financial losses, with an average home attendance for the season of just 1,428, the lowest in the ARC.

National Rugby Championship[edit]

Qld Country main and alternate kits 2016.

In December 2013, the ARU announced that the national competition was to be relaunched, with the National Rugby Championship (NRC) commencing in 2014.[19] Expressions of interest were open to any interested parties, with the accepted bids finalised in early 2014. There was initial interest from Queensland clubs and regions in forming NRC teams themselves,[20] but to eliminate the risks to sub-unions and clubs, the Queensland Rugby Union decided to organise and manage two teams centrally in the early years of the competition.[2] On 24 March 2014, it was announced that the Queensland Country and Brisbane City teams would play in the NRC competition.[3][21][22]

Anthony Fainga'a was Queensland Country's captain for the inaugural season in 2014.[23] Fainga'a was initially named as captain again for the following season but he was forced out through injury and James Tuttle became the captain for 2015.[24]


Queensland Country secured Bond University as principal partner in 2014, with the team officially known as Bond University Queensland Country.[22][25]

Home grounds[edit]

Location of Queensland Country's home venues for 2019

The Queensland Country team has its training base at Ballymore in Brisbane, the traditional home of Queensland Rugby.[26] The team has scheduled home matches at the following locations:

City Venue Capacity
Home venues for the current season
Gold Coast Bond Rugby Field 5,000
Gladstone Marley Brown Oval 6,000
Home venues for previous seasons
Brisbane Ballymore 24,000
Gold Coast Cbus Super Stadium 27,000
Ipswich North Ipswich Reserve 5,500
Mackay Stadium Mackay 12,000
Rockhampton Rugby Park 5,000
Sunshine Coast Noosa Dolphins Club 3,000
Stockland Park 12,000
Toowoomba Sports Ground 9,000
Townsville Hugh Street Grounds 5,000

Current squad[edit]

The squad for the 2019 NRC season:

Queensland Country squad – NRC 2019[A]
Bold denotes player is internationally capped. (c) Denotes team captain. 1 denotes marquee player.
Angus Blythe for Queensland Country in 2017 NRC cropped.jpg
Lock Angus Blyth.
Filipio Daugunu for Queensland Country in 2017 NRC cropped.jpg
Winger Filipo Daugunu.
Hamish Stewart NRC 2017.jpg
Fly-half Hamish Stewart.



Season standings[edit]

National Rugby Championship

Year Pos Pld W D L F A +/- BP Pts   Play-offs
2018 2nd 7 5 0 2 299 211 +88 4 24   Grand final loss to Fijian Drua by 36–26
2017 2nd 8 6 0 2 316 204 +112 5 29   Grand final win over Canberra Vikings by 42–28
2016 8th 7 1 0 6 248 346 −98 3 7   Did not compete
2015 8th 8 2 0 6 230 336 −106 1 9   Did not compete
2014 8th 8 2 0 6 208 281 −73 3 11   Did not compete

Australian Rugby Championship (Aces)

Year Pos Pld W D L F A +/- BP Pts   Play-offs
2007 8th 8 2 0 6 163 343 −180 3 11   Did not compete

Head coaches[edit]



See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "NRC frequently asked questions". Queensland Rugby. 2014. Archived from the original on 3 July 2014. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
  2. ^ a b c QRU Annual Report 2013, p. 5.
  3. ^ a b c "NRC update part 1: Queensland, Perth, Melbourne and Canberra". The Roar. 8 July 2014. Archived from the original on 8 July 2014. Retrieved 8 July 2014.
  4. ^ a b c Purcell 2002, p. 2–4.
  5. ^ "Australia relaunches National Rugby Championship". rugbyweek.com. 24 March 2014. Archived from the original on 24 March 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
  6. ^ a b c "Queensland Country History". Queensland Rugby. 1 August 2014. Archived from the original on 1 August 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
  7. ^ Purcell 2002, p. 6–7.
  8. ^ Purcell 2002, p. 12.
  9. ^ "2006 Annual Report: Rugby services" (PDF). Australian Rugby Union. 31 May 2006. p. 47. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 May 2014. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
  10. ^ "Queensland Rugby begins planning for new competition". rugby.com.au. 14 February 2006. Archived from the original on 25 October 2008. Retrieved 20 February 2007.
  11. ^ "ARC Team names and logos announced". qru.com.au. 2 June 2006. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 21 February 2007.
  12. ^ a b c d "East Coast Aces team overview". Queensland Rugby. 2007. Archived from the original on 25 June 2008. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
  13. ^ "Tornadoes announce fitness test lineup". qru.com.au. 2 April 2007. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 4 April 2007.
  14. ^ "Carrara Stadium". Austadiums.com. Archived from the original on 15 October 2007. Retrieved 22 February 2007.
  15. ^ "Two Brisbane rugby teams crazy: Connolly". Sydney Morning Herald. 18 August 2006. Archived from the original on 20 October 2012. Retrieved 21 February 2007.
  16. ^ "New competition vital for Wallabies". The Australian. Retrieved 25 August 2006.[dead link]
  17. ^ a b "Former Wallaby and ex-AB to coach new Qld national teams". worldcupweb.com. 23 February 2007. Archived from the original on 8 February 2012. Retrieved 23 February 2007.
  18. ^ "ARU pull plug on Australian Rugby Championship". ESPN Scrum. 18 December 2007. Archived from the original on 12 July 2014. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  19. ^ Orme, Steve (10 December 2013). "ARU unveils new national rugby championship for 2014". Sportal. Archived from the original on 15 July 2014. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
  20. ^ Butterworth, Liam (14 January 2014). "Townsville Rugby union has submitted an expression of interest to play in the new National Rugby Championship second tier domestic competition". Townsville Bulletin. Archived from the original on 12 July 2014. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  21. ^ "Australian Rugby Union says National Rugby Championship to start in August". ABC. 24 March 2014. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
  22. ^ a b Harbour, Jack (25 March 2014). "Bond University named as headquarters of Queensland Country team". Gold Coast Bulletin. Archived from the original on 16 July 2014. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
  23. ^ a b "Queensland Country NRC squad announced". Queensland Rugby. 1 August 2014. Archived from the original on 1 August 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
  24. ^ a b "Queensland Country side named for season opener on the Gold Coast". Reds Rugby. 19 August 2015. Archived from the original on 7 September 2015. Retrieved 19 August 2015.
  25. ^ "Bond University Queensland Country Rugby Link a major coup for Gold Coast". Bond University. 1 August 2014. Archived from the original on 11 August 2014. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
  26. ^ Bennett, Maika (22 August 2014). "Matt Brandon called into Queensland Country squad". Global RFU. Archived from the original on 22 August 2014. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  27. ^ a b "Bond University Queensland Country squad announced for 2019 National Rugby Championship". Queensland Rugby Union. 26 August 2019.
  28. ^ "NRC Team Hub - Round One: All the teams, times and RUGBY.com.au stream details". Rugby.com.au. 29 August 2019.
  29. ^ "Editorial: Next Focus Drua, Prep time for 2018 NRC is now". Fiji Sun. 5 August 2018. Archived from the original on 5 August 2018. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  30. ^ "Brad Thorn to coach Queensland Country in National Rugby Championship". Fox Rugby. 2 August 2017. Archived from the original on 2 August 2017. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  31. ^ Tucker, Jim (8 August 2016). "Wallaby World Cup winner Toutai Kefu joins Queensland Country coaching ranks". Courier-Mail. Archived from the original on 9 August 2016. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
  32. ^ a b "2016 Bond University Queensland Country Squad announced ahead of Buildcorp NRC". Reds Rugby. 15 August 2016. Archived from the original on 18 August 2016. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  33. ^ "Bond University Queensland Country squad announced ahead of the 2015 Buildcorp NRC". Reds Rugby. 7 August 2015. Archived from the original on 8 August 2015. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
  34. ^ Qantas Wallabies player alignments unveiled for 2014 Buildcorp National Rugby Championship


External links[edit]