Former QLD Premier Rugby Players to Watch in the Shute Shield
RYAN MENZIES (SOUTHS)
Sporting one of QPR’s most mingin’/sick chops of the past few years, Menzo makes the move from the Gold Coast to the slightly more racist GC knockoff known as Sydney’s Southern Beaches.
After making a name for himself for a coupla seasons on the sting for Bond Uni Rugby Club in both 7s & 15s, Menzo made the shift to the centres a couple of years ago after a string of injuries to gun former Jail Rugby convert Corbin Keirnan and took shiz to the next level.
His partnership with Bond skipper Dan Boardman was absolutely deadly on both sides of the pill, propelling the Bull Sharks to their first QPR finals series in 2020.
Under the guidance of former Tahs & Bulls attack guru Todd Louden, expect Menzo to absolutely chop up in the Shute Shield this season.
Fingers crossed he doesn’t turn all “Sydney” on us and get rid of his dirt squirter-esque faux hawk.
FRED DORROUGH (SOUTHS)
Joining Menzies at Souths this season is another Coastie in former TSS First XV & Qld u/20s skipper Fred Dorrough. Having spent a coupla seasons at The Wicks, with a cheeky little stint in Spain thrown in for good measure, you can expect “Fat Gits” to go Godzilla with pill in hand under Louden.
We won’t divulge where the nickname Fat Gits came from but let’s just say it’s someone with a helluva lot of pull within the 7s circuit and who knows a bloody good footy player when he sees them.
And just like his namesake, Dorrough has plenty of quivers to his bow. Hard nosed in contact, be it with pill and without, coupled with legit playmaking nouse makes Dorrough an absolute beast.
Having the ability to play pretty much anywhere in the backline as well means Fat Gits is a much more apt nickname then first thought.
Set your bungholes to full fizz folks as Dorrough looks to carve up in 2021.
RO SAIFALOI (EASTERN SUBURBS)
Former State High and Brothers flyhalf Ro Saifaloi has covered more ground than the early settlers on his decade-long rugby journey and is a massive get for The Beasties in 2021.
Having lead Souths around the park for a few seasons at the start of the last decade (and even forging a halves partnership with Easts Tigers premiership hero and 2020 P2P QPR Player of the Year Eli Pilz), Saifaloi is the perfect foil to help get the Beasts back to the big dance this season.
Not the flashiest playmaker getting around but what he lacks in flair Saifaloi certainly makes up for in his controlled kicking game, laser-like goal kicking and cool as a cucumber demeanour on the pitch.
Having already played in a Shute Shield final almost a decade ago, expect to see The Beastie Boys go to the next level this year.
ZAC SHEPPERD/JAMIE RICKWARD/BEN McCORMACK (RANDWICK)
Next up we have a triumvirate of blokes I think will get things heaving for the Galloping Greens this year and one of them won’t even be lacing up the boots. That man is former Brothers Fire Antz Friday night premiership winner and Wicks coach, Ben McCormack.
After a radike period of success from the late 70s to the early noughts that saw Randwick bag 16 premierships, the lads from Coogee haven’t jagged a Shute Shield title in 16 seasons. Under the guidance of McCormack, who’s focus on promoting within the club and long term strengthening of the Colts program, The Wicks are certainly giving themselves their best chance in a bloody long time.
That said, Radwick have lost a wealth of bloody good footy players from last year's side that nearly dusted eventual premiers Gordon in the first round of the finals last year. To help shore things up are a couple of hard-nosed operators in Zac Shepperd (Sunnybank) & Jamie Rickward (GPS).
Shepperd is the perfect replacement for his former Dragons teammate and 2020 Randwick skipper Nathan “Moose” Den Hoedt who scored a gig over in MLR this season. With a massive motor and shrewd lineout skills, expect Shepperd to come into the Wicks fold with ease this season.
As for Rickward, the man is a thicc unit who can play either in the backrow or second row. One COVID affected season was enough for those in the know in QPR that Rickward is a beast who will be sorely missed by The Gallopers. Jeeps are known for their set piece dominance, so don’t sleep on Rickward being some skinbag QPR forward that won’t be up to the tough piggies play that is a hallmark of the Sydney club comp.
RHIAN STOWERS (EASTWOOD)
Rhian Stowers is a farkin’ gun. Full stop. Period. ‘Nuff said.
As a fresh-faced 20 year old outside back, Stowers was a newcomer to Bond Uni Rugby Club last season but one sniff of top grade footy was enough for the young fella.
After making his first grade debut off the bench early in the season, Stowers made himself undeniable for the Bull Sharks, which led to him being named in the P2P-QPR-XV Team of the Year.
Bond Uni have been arguably the best attacking side in QPR for a coupla years now and Stowers was the beneficiary of being on the end of a deadly backline consisting of names like Dillon, Third, Menzies & Boardman. His partnership with Max Dowd was especially deadly for the Bull Sharks in 2020.
Having taken a gig with The Woods & Tahs Academy this season, expect big things from Rhian Stowers in the very near future.
All Shute Shield games will be live and ad free on Stan Sports.
Check out the latest Pillar to Post Podcast for a full preview of the QLD Hospital Cup and Shute Shield competition.