Top ten player loses from the Queensland Reds
Queensland Reds

Top 10 Reds Player Losses

Top 10 Reds Player Losses

The scuttlebutt is growing increasingly stronger that Quade Cooper has signed, or is about to sign, a two year deal with the World XV, sorry, Toulon. Knowing something is about to happen doesn’t make the suffering any less. Look, we all knew it was probable. We’ve been expecting a signing for a few years. But Quade’s move to France is still a massive kick in the guts, admittedly more to Reds fans perhaps than the wider Australian Rugby fan.

Quade remains one of the few players I have seen in the game that left me dumbstruck with what he was able to produce on the rugby field. Sure he left us slapping our forehead a bit early on, but soon enough the only slapping was our jaws slapping against the floor as produced plays rarely seen before.

Remember that 20m back of hand pass to Peter Hynes against the Highlanders back in ’10? What he did to the Blues to set up Benny Tapuai in that 2011 Semi-Final? Just magic.

And now it seems Quade is leaving our fair shores to follow the well beaten path to France. Will we see him again in Australia? At 27 you’d think it’s a possibility, but I wouldn’t bank on it.

Make no mistake, this is a massive blow to Queensland Rugby. But it’s not the first. Speaking as a fan, we seem to have made a habit of losing key players. Now I am not talking about the schoolboy prodigies. The David Pococks, the Matty Toomuas, the Paul Alo-Emiles. That’s a whoooooole different article about how those players slipped from our grasp.

No. This one is about the contracted players who left us for ‘greener pastures’ who, as a passionate Reds fan, were our biggest player losses!

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  • Tangawizi

    Berrick Barnes probably feeling a touch unlucky to miss this list. I’d have had him in simply because his departure sparked the complete overhaul in 2009.
    Is history about to repeat 6 years later?

  • Thoughts on Berrick Barnes

    • Dom Par

      Good riddance.

      He was either out concussed, or he’d kick the ball away in attack. Both the Reds, and then the Tahs got better after he left. Good defender though.

  • Scott Rowe

    When I read the article premise the first player I thought of was Barnes.

  • Imo, most of these are inconsequential comparitively to Mike Harris and it remains to be seen QC. I think QCs loss will be catastrophic if the reds don’t throw massive cash at some seriously hot property. Think of how Harris would have changed this season and the chances of so many of the reds wallaby aspirants.

    • Rocky Elboa

      I think the Mike Harris lose is only exacerbated by the inept recruiting at the reds
      How do you let Mike Harris and Ben Lucas leave and your only back up is a rookie, Paia’aua, who turns out to be a dud.

      • Train Without A Station

        As we have all said, Paia’aua wasn’t the only back up.

        Jake McIntyre was. He was injured after the NRC though.

        In addition to these 2 young 10s, we had O’Conner and Hunt who had all played senior Rugby at 10.

        The only teams that have more experienced specialist options than Duncan and Jake are the Force and Rebels (Holmes at the Force and Hegarty at the Rebels) and that’s because they have inexperienced, unproven starting players.

      • Yeah, Lucas…. Couldn’t really step up though, could he? He is the least of, as you put it and I whole heartedly agree, inept, recruiters and administrators at the Reds. This is an ARU issue. Leading into a RWC, Australia have previous wallabies well out of form and not raising the expectations or performances of other players. depth and performance lacking as a result of poor competition. Young players like Chris F-S had amazing potential but have not been developed. a shame.

  • boby

    Steven Moore, Digby Ione, Mark Chisholm, Berrick Barnes, Hugh Mecmeniman, were all great loses to the team over the years far more than Cannon

    • Yeah I definitely expected to see Digby on the list.

    • Train Without A Station

      McMeniman? Left at our lowest point at the end of 2009. Our next season Byrnes with Horwill did the job, then with Horwill injured I think Van the man stepped in.

      Anyway, we clearly were improved when he left. Hardly left a gaping hole.

    • Brisneyland Local

      We lost our attack when we lost Digby! HIs lines off Quade and will were great. Took three men to drag him down and he still made precious yards!

  • Billy Bob Vanderwaal

    Impressive list.

  • dave

    I had no idea Ben Mowen was a QLDer… And now that I think about it he is actually a fantastic player… much better than I thought he was about 15 minutes ago.

    • Council of Trent

      Villanova school 1stXV

    • Rocky Elboa

      I don’t really agree with Mowen being on this list
      Wasn’t great for Queensland
      Was better for NSW
      Hit his straps when playing for the brumbies

      Can you really count someone who left well before they showed their potential? These guys should be listed somewhere in between the schoolboys who sign elsewhere and the professionals that really hurt.

  • Gottsy

    Great article, depressing as f**k though! There could be a few more on this list in coming years, especially with young players like jarred butler and Jonah placid yet to hit their straps. Will also be interesting to see who else leaves at the end of the year- I know big kev has copped a bit lately but you can’t deny his contribution

  • TheMountain

    #11 Ewen McKenzie

  • “Quade remains one of the few players I have seen in the game that left me dumbstruck with what he was able to produce on the rugby field. Sure he left us slapping our forehead a bit early on, but soon enough the only slapping was our jaws slapping against the floor as produced plays rarely seen before.”

    That sums up exactly how I feel about Quade. I honestly believe there has never been a better passer of the rugby ball to play the game. He was special and I will really miss seeing him in a Reds jersey. I just hope he gets the 7 games he needs so he isn’t lost to Australian Rugby for good.

  • Ivan Heron

    Dom Shipperley and Luke Morahan were bigger losses than Wendell Sailor . Dom is a key team player and was staunch in defence and attack, something positive always happened when he got near the ball.

    • Who?

      Agreed, and they left with their best days ahead of them, not behind them. I rate Dom higher than Luke – Luke has a really bad tendency to tackle with the wrong shoulder in cover, and then fall of those tackles.
      Surprised at no Genia, given he’s definitely gone.
      And as good as Mikey Mike is/was, I think Benny Lucas’ loss was HUGE. He played well at 10 and 15 for us last year.
      This list would be even more interesting if it were based off just post-2011, or, even more interestingly, post Richard Graham’s appointment. Because you couldn’t do a ‘best 10 signings or discoveries’ since that point.

  • Nutta

    We need to be careful of these sorts of things. These type of reflections certainly have their place and I applaud the effort but it’s a bit like missed shots at goal and then saying “we left 12pts behind” but you can’t really say that because once you score you have a restart and the path of the game changes. When a player goes another one steps in – but also for every good player who stays the next up & comer leaves so it cuts both ways. The other point to consider is that not all clubs and coaches are the same. I know in my own pathetic career a niggling injury, a change in coach or a different group/mix of players/skills/styles significantly changed my play for better and worse. I reflect on Gitts a bit here – deadset poison and a coach killer pre 2011 but give him a change of coach/club/peers and we now see the finest player in Europe.

  • Brad

    I recall fondly Wendel’s first game for the Reds at Ballymore – he was heckled and jeered greater than the opposition. He was never truly a Red, just a parasite leaching off the ARU and the Reds just happened to be the brief custodian.

  • Brad

    Nathan Sharp (Judus) is responsible for crippling QLD rugby (what we all thought were the darkest days…..until the appointment of RG)

  • da tahs

    What about Peter Hynes! The way Qld treated him was pathetic! Its fun how the tahs never have had these mass exits but everyone north of the border claim that it’s very badly run! Interesting????

    • Train Without A Station

      The way QLD treated him?

      He was injured in our 2011 run and never was able to get back to fitness to play again.

      What exactly were they supposed to do? Let him hobble out there on a pair of crutches?

      • ripper

        On top of that The Reds also gave him a job in the office to build a skillset outside of rugby. Hynes was very much looked after by the reds, even when it became apparent he couldnt recover from his oinjuries.

      • Braveheart81

        They could have funded a stem cell research program to try and regrow the cartilage in Hynes’ knees.

  • Tim
    • Train Without A Station

      Except Quade Cooper hasn’t confirmed anything himself.

  • SuckerForRed

    Got 1/2 way through the first page and immediately thought of Mikey. Timing of his loss sucked.

  • Matt

    What about the Rooster, Drew Mitchell?

  • sambo6

    Nathan Grey
    Jason little

  • HK Red

    Sadly there’s a common theme here, which apart from a blip through Ewen’s tenure, seems to have been around for 14-15 years. The QRU Board/Management appear to be vastly out of their depth. Understandably some players wish to try new opportunities, or injuries force their hand, or it’s just time for them to start the slow unwind into retirement and head overseas chasing the money. However, there are plenty of players that you feel wanted to hang around, wanted to remain a loyal servant to the team, but were just let slip away to make room for a couple of “marquee” signings. The exodus of players last year, to make way for JOC and Hunt, left many shaking their heads wondering at the wisdom of such moves. Players that still had much to offer, were playing great rugby and were fully committed on the field, were shown the door. I’m sure the suits thought they were making tough big-boy decisions, that have now come back to bite them in the arse. It might sound sad and parochial, but QLD rugby needs players with heart, fully committed to the history and tradition of the club and wanting to get out there and play for the fans and their team-mates. The same goes for coaches.

    • Train Without A Station

      But you make the comment as if the QRU Board/Management are a static group and the current people are the same people who were responsible for the errors of the 2000’s when you say the Link tenure was a blip.

      Link was part of a huge back office upheaval. McCall started just before Link, Carmichael was around that time also. Nobody from the 2000’s remains.

  • Brendan Hume

    Radike made a huge dent when he left – obviously age and injury had caught up to him a bit, but he was a powerful ball runner and we haven’t had one as effective since.

    • Brisneyland Local

      Radike alone was worth about 5000 fams through turnstiles! My favourite photo I have mounted on my wall is him holding both my daughters on his huge shoulders. A very proud dad I was!

  • Rocky Elboa

    Richard Graham? too soon?

  • Tassie Lad

    Got any more ‘ratbag’ players you don’t want? The rest of the Aussie conference will be happy to take ‘em on.

  • Jimmydubs

    and 3 hookers i smell bias

  • BA

    Berrick Barnes???

  • Canuckruck

    Quel Dommage!
    I can’t think of a rugby player I’d rather watch for sheer entertainment and excitement than Quade Cooper. I will certainly be watching a lot more Top 14 Rugby if this comes to pass.

  • Brisneyland Local

    For me the biggest losses were definitely:
    1. Digby Ioane
    2. Nathan Sharpe
    3. Aussie Mike Harris
    We have never really recovered from these losses.
    Qld has always managed to either piss off or lose quality players and then recruit poorly to cover these positions, or never quite recover.
    Good to see we are doing it with coaches too!

  • Miaow

Queensland Reds

The original prop in a prop's body, but thankfully I have the rugby mind of a prop as well.

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