Reds sign Brisbane City wing Laloifi for Super Rugby

Junior Laloifi will play Super Rugby for the Reds

Queensland Super Rugby franchise the Reds have announced that winger Junior Laloifi has secured a Queensland Reds contract after being selected as ‘The Ballymore Kid ‘, following his performances during the 2015 National Rugby Championship (NRC).

‘The Ballymore Kid ‘ is a Queensland Rugby initiative for the 2015 NRC in which one player within Queensland ‘s two squads, Brisbane City and Bond University Queensland Country, was guaranteed a 2016 contract with the Reds for the coming Super Rugby season.

Laloifi, 21, has been a prolific try-scorer and consistent performer in this year ‘s NRC, scoring 14-tries across Brisbane City ‘s eight regular season matches, crossing the line in every game, to head into the finals as the competition ‘s leading try scorer. Fans will also remember Laloifi ‘s crucial try late in the 2014 NRC Grand Final, which sealed the victory for Brisbane City.

Laloifi ‘s success has come on the back of two outstanding seasons with Sunnybank in the Queensland Premier Rugby competition, where he amassed 18 tries. Laloifi also represented the Australian Sevens team in 2012 at four tournaments on the World Rugby Sevens circuit.

Laloifi said that he was thrilled to be offered a contract and to be a part of the Reds setup next year.

“I ‘m really excited for the opportunity that has been presented to me from the Reds coaching staff,” Laloifi said.

“The Reds obviously have a long and rich history and I ‘m looking forward to being a part of that in 2016.

“Having come from club Rugby though to the NRC and now the Reds, I feel like my story shows that the pathway system in Queensland works and hopefully I can help inspire other young players in Queensland to continue to push for higher honours.”

‘The Ballymore Kid ‘ was decided by the Reds High Performance coaches and Queensland ‘s NRC coaching staff.

Executive General Manager of the Reds, Dan Herbert said: “Junior has had a couple of impressive seasons for both Sunnybank and Brisbane City and is a worthy recipient of the Ballymore Kid contract. He now has a great opportunity to showcase his talent on the Super Rugby stage with the Reds in 2016 and we look forward to welcoming him to the squad.

“The Reds will continue to look at all avenues for talent, and the first part of that is our pathway system, so it is great to see Junior progress from Premier Rugby through to the NRC and now to our Reds squad.”

The NRC was conceived as a competition that adds a third-tier to the potential of Rugby players who have the opportunity to progress from club Rugby through to Super Rugby and Wallabies selection.

Queensland Rugby ‘s NRC strategy is central to the QRU ‘s long-term planning and desire to build sustainable success for all our Queensland teams.

Investment into QRU ‘s pathway programs has been delivered in the past two years with the intention of identifying, developing and retaining the best talent in the state so it is available to QRU ‘s elite programs.

To that end, in 2014, 11 players from Queensland ‘s two NRC sides went on to earn contracts with the Reds for 2015. 10 were named to the then newly established Elite Development Squad, and one player was signed to the main Reds squad. Laloifi ‘s selection as ‘The Ballymore Kid ‘ continues to demonstrate the strong and evolving pathway system in Queensland.

Pending selection, Laloifi will be in action at Ballymore on Saturday when Brisbane City clash with the Sydney Stars in the second semi-final of this year’s NRC.

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