Queensland coach Nick Stiles has this morning confirmed rumours that out-of-favour flyhalf Jake McIntyre has signed with French Top 14 club Agen.
News broke in the French press early this morning that McIntyre would join the club based in France’s south-west once his contract with Queensland is completed at the end of this season.
Stiles was full of praise for the departing playmaker who steered the ship for Richard Graham in a disastrous 2015 season at the helm of the Reds.
“Jake is an absolutely quality individual and a great example to other players about how to prepare for a football game,” Stiles said.
“He’s a real professional with how he goes about his business and I was excited that he was able to pick up a contract and continue to play professionally because he’s such a good bloke.”
With a number of exciting flyhalves already on the Queensland books including Wallabies star Quade Cooper and Australian U20s Hamish Stewart on the rise, Stiles said it was easy to understand why an individual in McIntyre’s position would seek opportunities overseas.
“Being a flyhalf is very difficult, you need to put a lot of time into understanding and implementing the gameplan and bringing out the best in the players around you, and Jake worked very hard on that.
“He’s only 23, and sometimes a stint overseas can sharpen you up and as we’ve seen with the fluid movement of footballers internationally, going overseas doesn’t mean he’s finished in Australia,” Stiles said.
Agen won promotion to the Top 14 in 2017/2018 by defeating US Mountauban 41-20 in the Pro D2 promotion playoff last season.
McIntyre will likely partner former Springbok Ricky Januarie in the halves after starting just three matches for the Reds this year.