The St.George Queensland Reds have added depth to their backline stocks with the re-signing of Chris Feauai-Sautia and new signing of exciting Fijian flyer Filipo Daugunu.
The pair have been regular starters for Bond University Queensland Country in this year’s National Rugby Championship, providing some of the attacking impetus for the team’s most successful season in the competition’s short history.
Feauai-Sautia, 23, has been in fine form for Country since returning from a season-long knee injury, featuring at outside centre in five games this season, scoring two tries and averaging 10m per carry (27 carries for 269 metres).
The 2018 season will be his seventh with the Reds, after first signing while still a student at Brisbane State High School.
“I’m happy to be staying at the Reds next season. I’ve really enjoyed my time during the NRC and feel confident with the way I’ve been playing. I’m looking forward to the next Super Rugby season,” Feauai-Sautia said.
Daugunu will join the Reds for the first time in 2018, after a spectacular season for Country in his debut NRC season.
The 22-year-old former Fijian soccer international moved to Brisbane ahead of the 2017 Queensland Premier Rugby season, where he was a regular starter for Wests, before earning a call up to the NRC.
The speedy outside back has quickly earned a reputation as a sound finisher, having already scored 10 tries in his four games – the most in the competition.
“I moved to Australia with a dream of playing Super Rugby and I’m so excited to get this opportunity with the Reds. I’ve had great experiences this year playing for Wests and working with Brad and Paul in Queensland Country. I can’t wait for pre-season,” Daugunu said.
Current Country and incoming Reds head coach Brad Thorn said he was pleased to see both players rewarded for their hard work.
“Chris and Filipo have been great contributors to the Country cause this season,” he said.
“They’ve both worked hard to establish themselves in the starting side and haven’t had everything go their way, but they’ve taken their opportunities when presented them.
“It’s really pleasing to see Chris enjoying his Rugby and thriving on the field. He had a serious setback with that knee injury last year and had a lot of work to put in before he could get back to his damaging best. Hopefully he’ll continue that strong form for the Reds next season.
“For Filipo, he moved to Australia with a goal of starting his journey as a professional footballer. He’s hungry to succeed and we’re excited to have him join the Reds next year.”
Queensland Country currently sit in second place in the NRC ladder with two rounds remaining in the competition.
The 2017 season is already their most successful in the history of the competition, having won five of their six matches so far.
Country travel to Fiji this weekend to take on the Fijian Drua in the penultimate round of the NRC regular season.
Position: Centre/Outside back
POB: Auckland, NZ
Representative honours: Australian Schoolboys (2009-2011), Queensland (2012-), Australian Under 20s (2012), Australian Wallabies (2013-), Queensland Country NRC (2015)
NRC debut: 2015 v Melbourne Rising, Bond University
NRC caps: 8
NRC points: 15 (3T)
Super Rugby debut: 2012 v Lions, Suncorp Stadium
Super Rugby caps: 47
Super Rugby points: 55 (11T)
Test debut: 2013 v South Africa, Cape Town
Test caps: 2
Test points: 10 (2T)
Position: Outside back
POB: Labasa, Fiji
Representative honours: Fiji U20s (2015), Queensland Country NRC (2017)
NRC debut: 2017 v Sydney Rays, Pittwater Park
NRC caps: 4
NRC points: 50 (10T)
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