In a coup for the Sunshine Coast, the St.George Queensland Reds will hold a three-day pre-season camp in the region next month.
The 2019 Reds playing squad and coaching staff will shift their training base from Ballymore to Sunshine Coast Stadium at Kawana Waters between 12-14 December.Despite taking numerous trial matches and training sessions to the region in the past, it’ll be the first time the Reds will hold a dedicated pre-season camp up the coast.
Reds head coach Brad Thorn said: “We’re really excited to get to the Sunshine Coast and continue our preparations for the upcoming Super Rugby season.
“As well as training, the camp will have a big focus on community engagement. We can’t wait to visit the local communities and meet our fans.
“It’s important for us to give back and recognise why we play Rugby and what it means to represent Queensland,” Thorn added.
Reds scrumhalf and Sunshine Coast product Tate McDermott said: “It’s a great place and this is a great initiative.
“I’m looking forward to getting back up there. I played my junior Rugby with the Maroochydore Swans and went to Sunshine Coast Grammar, so I know the place pretty well.
“It’ll be good to meet all the young Rugby fans. It wasn’t too long ago that was me, so hopefully we can inspire the next generation of Sunny Coast Rugby talent,” McDermott said.
Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson said the Reds would be very welcome visitors to the region.
“We’ve built up a good history of sporting teams and individuals coming to the Sunshine Coast for training and then enjoying success the following year,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“We’d love some of that Sunshine Coast magic to rub off on the Reds.
“The facilities and environment we offer are ideal for pre-season camps like this one and I’m particularly pleased the Reds will be getting out and about and interacting with our local community, especially our young rugby players who love the chance to meet their heroes face to face.”
The Reds will arrive on Wednesday evening ahead of two action-packed days filled with various community activities across the Sunshine Coast.
On Thursday, the Reds will hold an open training session at Sunshine Coast Stadium from 3:30pm, followed by a kid’s clinic between 5:00pm to 6:00pm where fans will have the opportunity to meet and greet their favourite players.
In addition, some of the best local schoolboy Rugby talent will be invited to train alongside the Reds, where they’ll learn the tricks of the trade from not only the players but Queensland’s world-class coaching staff.
On Friday morning, the players will take time-out from their training schedule to participate in four separate community visits, including local schools, hospitals and Rugby clubs, before the team departs back home to Brisbane.