2021 saw Brothers have a slow start to the season. A victim of their own success, with a host of Brothers players bolstering the Queensland Reds squad, the Brethren put themselves in a favourable position to contest finals and welcome back a host of Reds talent including the likes of Harry Hoopert, Hamish Stewart and Ryan Smith.
Brothers semi-final clash with University of Queensland was an entertaining encounter which went down to the wire, and the boys from Crosby Park nearly found themselves at Suncorp Stadium had it not been for an individual try late in the game from University of Queensland scrumhalf Kalani Thomas.
Once again, the Brethren have lost some of their ranks to professional honours, but they have welcomed back a host of talent from recent years to help build depth at the club.
We spoke with head coach Brendan Gabbett ahead of Round 1.
“We had a good year, we learnt how to deal with a lot of issues - covid issues and disruptions, it was successful without winning the ultimate prize,” said Gabbett.
“We debuted seven colts eligible players last year and that will only hold the club in good stead as these players continue to grow and become more familiar with Premier Grade.
“Like all clubs, we’ve had a long pre-season and have put plenty of metres into the boys’ legs and worked on physicality around the combat zone.”
“Our focus for the Premier Grade squad this year is that we want to improve every week.
“If you can get better and evolve week-to-week, you will get the rewards at the end. It’s a long season and we want to peak at the right end of it.”
Mosiah Christian – UQ Taylor Adams – MLR Niven Longapoa - GPS Izzy Tittor – Tuggeranong Vikings Isaac Tarabay – Sabbatical Alex Perez – Sabbatical Bradford Kapa – UQ Ben Hyne – injury Dillon Wihongi - Sabbatical
Pheonix Hunt Matt Faessler – Randwick Hudson Crieghton – Canberra Nate Carroll – Brumbies Titi Nofoagatotoa – Brumbies Harry Vella – Brumbies
BROTHERS PLAYER TO WATCH
“Since coming down from Townsville a few years ago, this has been Billy’s biggest pre-season to date. He’s in good shape and set for a big season.”
OPPOSITION PLAYER TO WATCH
Pat Nicholson – GPS
“Patty is solid as a rock at 15. He has good speed, quality Rugby IQ and is solid under a high ball.”