Queensland Rugby Union (QRU) has today announced Liam Wright as the St.George Queensland Reds captain for the 2020 Vodafone Super Rugby season.
The 22-year-old backrower made his debut for Queensland in 2018 and has since amassed 28 caps for his state, before making his Wallabies debut against New Zealand at Eden Park late last year.
He has previous experience in the role, having captained the Queensland U20s to their second Super U20s Championship in 2017, as well leading Bond University Queensland Country against the Fijian Drua during their National Rugby Championship (NRC) title-campaign later that year.
In each of those teams, Wright was recognised for his leadership qualities by Brad Thorn who was head coach for the Queensland U20s and Queensland Country in 2017.
After a hamstring injury in Round 2 ruled Wright out for the 2018 NRC season, he also assisted the team throughout the remainder of their campaign in a coaching capacity - helping run the team’s lineouts.
Reds captain Liam Wright said: “It’s a huge honour to be named as captain. Having the chance to lead this team of Queenslanders is a massive privilege and very special.
“We are lucky to have a lot of experienced leaders in the squad who will support me and the rest of our group in the role, both on-and-off the field. I also understand how important it is to be representing the rich heritage and strength of Rugby in Queensland.
“A lot of the players within our squad have come through the Queensland pathway together, so it’s humbling to be chosen to lead this group of players and close mates who have been together for quite some time now,” said Wright.
Queensland Reds head coach Brad Thorn said: “Congratulations to Liam Wright on the captaincy. He deserves his chance to lead Queensland this season.
“He’s a genuine and intelligent guy. He has the respect of the playing group. Liam’s the type of player that others want to play for.
“He’s no stranger to the role. He’s captained both the Queensland U20s and Queensland Country in the NRC. I’m sure he will carry those same leadership qualities into the 2020 Super Rugby season as captain of Queensland,” said Thorn.
After being named the Australian U20s Player of the Year and featuring for Queensland Country in their NRC title-winning season in 2017, Wright was selected to play for the Wallabies against the Barbarians in an uncapped Test and travelled to the United Kingdom as a development player for the end of year Spring Tour.
Wright then debuted for the Reds the following year against the Melbourne Rebels at AAMI Park in the second round of the 2018 Super Rugby season.
The flanker went on to play 12 games in his maiden season, before a breakout year in 2019 saw him start every game of Queensland’s campaign and miss just 12-minutes of play in 16 games.
Wright’s strong form earnt him a call-up to the Wallabies and he featured off the bench in two games for Australia against New Zealand and Samoa respectively.
A passionate product of club Rugby, having first been selected for the Queensland U20s after a stellar season in Queensland Premier Rugby’s Colts 1 competition back in 2015, Wright has also turned out for his beloved club Easts regularly since making his Super Rugby debut, featuring for the Tigers in the past two Hospital Challenge Cup finals series.
Queensland will play the Rebels in Gladstone on Friday 17 January in their first pre-season fixture, before travelling to Dalby to take on the Waratahs on Friday 24 January in their final hit-out before the Super Rugby season.
Place of birth: Durban, South Africa
Senior Club: Easts
Junior Club: St. Ives Rugby Club, NSW
School: Anglican Church Grammar School
Representative Honours: Queensland U20s (2016-2017), Australian U20s (2016-2017), Queensland Country NRC (2016-), Queensland (2018-), Wallabies (2019-)
Super Rugby Debut: 2018 v Melbourne Rebels, AAMI Park
Super Rugby Caps: 28
Test Debut: 2019 v New Zealand, Auckland
Test Caps: 2