Welcome to your edition 2 of Tens Talk, which provides you with inside information on Teams, Players and the Tournament.
In this edition we profile rivals – the Tahs, the Chiefs and the Fijian flair. Plus we look at the women’s tournament with a focus on the hosts, your Queensland Reds.
The 2014 Super Rugby champs will be out to lay a marker down for the year ahead, and with a side that features returning Wallaby superstar Kurtley Beale and wildcard Drew Mitchell – amongst a host of other big names – they’re a good chance to do just that.
The Waratahs will bring their enigmatic brand of rugby back to Brisbane for year two of the Global Tens with the hopes of their fan base weighing on their shoulders, after a below expectations 2017, they will be out in force to kick off 2018 with a bang!
Player to watch – Kurtley Beale: The Waratahs marquee man makes his return to Australian domestic rugby as one of the faces of the Tens, and for good reason – his form for the Wallabies at the end of the 2017 season was one of the highlights of an otherwise up and down Spring tour. At just 29 years of age, Beale is entering his thirteenth season of top-flight rugby – and his third stint at the Waratahs – having returned from a short-lived stint with English outfit Wasps in 2017.
The Chiefs hold the unique position of being the first and only holders of the Brisbane Global Rugby Tens title. But it was how they did it – reeling from the game day passing of former Super Rugby teammate Sione Lauaki from complications related to heart and kidney problems – which truly proved the class of the men from Waikato. The 12-5 victory over fellow Kiwi powerhouse the Crusaders was one for the ages and one that the Chiefs dedicated to their former teammate.
Player to watch – Shaun Stevenson: Google ‘Shaun Stevenson Brisbane Tens’ and you will see why the lanky outside back is rated one of the most exciting and evasive talents in New Zealand rugby. His star turn at the 2017 event was followed by a second season at Super Rugby level and the 21 year old will be out to do more damage in 2018.
Rugby mad, stalwarts of the sevens game and the winners of the first Olympic rugby gold medal in 92 years, Fiji will be a sure fire crowd favourite when they make their Brisbane Tens debut. Boasting sheer athleticism and a unique brand of off the cuff, ball in play rugby, the men in white have named an extended squad of locally-based players which is sure to cause plenty of headaches for opposing Pool C teams the Brumbies, Hurricanes and Crusaders.
Player to watch – Frank Lomani: Scrum half Frank Lomani made his test debut for the Flying Fijians against Manu Samoa in July last year, before backing up with an outstanding National Rugby Championship campaign with Fiji Drua and a berth on the national team’s spring tour of Europe. The 2017 Fiji Under 20’s representative will line up alongside his captain from that team, prop Eroni Mawi, in the team for Brisbane.
Queensland Reds Womens
The home side for the Tens will be out to continue their dominance in truncated forms of the game when they take the field in Brisbane. The Reds will draw upon the bulk of the talent that propelled Queensland to first place in the 2017 Australian Women’s 7’s Championship, where they defeated ACT 29-0 in the final. After the sting of losing to arch rivals NSW at the 2017 Tens, watch for the Reds to make a dent in 2018.
Rugby Tens Fun Fact
Fijian rugby fans turn out in big numbers and fine voice no matter where in the world their teams are playing, and in Brisbane it will be no different. Some 9,470 Brisbane residents are Fijian-born, making Fiji the most represented of all Polynesian countries on the list of overseas-born Brisbane-ites and the 11th most populous overall.
Brisbane Global Rugby Tens
Dates: Friday 9 and Saturday 10 February, 2018
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Gates Open: 1:45pm Friday / 12:40pm Saturday
Blues spin it to win it in Tens final
An all-or-nothing surge from George Moala snatched victory for the Blues in the last minute of the Brisbane Global Rugby Tens final.
Aussies chasing NZ tails on finals day
Just like Super Rugby, the Kiwi teams are setting the pace in Tens rugby.
Veterans hunt young prey in Global Tens pool games
Carlos Spencer was among the winners in the early rounds of the Brisbane Global Rugby Tens
New jersey springs new hope for Kuridrani
Once a Red, Chris Kuridrani wants to follow his brother Nemani Nadolo into the Fijian Test side