Dane Zander re-signs through 2023; Feao Fotuaika and Richie Asiata sign for next season

· Super Rugby
by Reds Media Unit

The St.George Queensland Reds re-signing spree has continued with a further three players staying put at Ballymore.

 
Frontrow trio Dane Zander, Feao Fotuaika and Richie Asiata will all remain at the Reds after committing for next season and beyond.
 
Zander has inked a new two-year deal, while Fotuaika and Asiata have both re-signed for next season.
 
“I’m a Queenslander. I was born-and-bred here and I’m super excited to have the opportunity to play for Queensland for the next two years,” said Zander.
 
“It’s also exciting to be a part of this group of players under Thorny because I think we’re on the verge of doing something pretty special in the future.”
 
“I’m really excited to stay at Ballymore with this group of men,” Fotuaika said.
 
“I am proud to wear the maroon jersey. It’s very special and I’m looking forward to another great year with the Reds.”
 
“I’m excited to keep on improving my skillset and hopefully put that maroon jersey on again in 2022,” added Asiata.
 
“We achieved a lot as a playing group this year and with this squad and coaching staff here I believe we will only improve.”
 
Reds General Manager – Professional Rugby Sam Cordingley said: "Our frontrower’s efforts are a real a cornerstone of our game. The depth we have is a credit to the work that Cameron (Lillicrap) and Brad have put into this part of the program. 
 
"Fe, Dane and Richie are all proud Queenslanders who have come through our club and pathway programs – it’s great to have them committed to the Reds."
 
Zander was handed an opportunity with Queensland after impressing with Brisbane City during the 2019 National Rugby Championship (NRC) season.
 
He will enter his third season at the Reds next year after debuting in Queensland’s opening match of the 2020 Super Rugby season and has since gone on to play 18 matches including 10 games this year.
 
A Queensland and Australian Schoolboys representative, Fotuaika was also recruited from the NRC with Brisbane City and made his Queensland debut in the Reds 2019 season opener in Dunedin.
 
Injury has cruelly denied the 28-year-old solid game-time during his past three seasons, but 2021 proved a turning point as the versatile prop played every match of the Trans-Tasman tournament and all but three matches during Super Rugby AU which he was suspended for.
 
Fotuaika’s form this year saw him recently invited to train with the Wallabies on the Gold Coast as part of their preparation for the France Test Series.
 
A fellow Queensland pathway product having represented his state and country at U20s level, Asiata won the 2017 NRC title with Queensland Country under coach Brad Thorn before departing overseas to New Zealand and also the United States.
 
The 25-year-old returned home to Brisbane at the start of this year and made his Queensland debut in Round 1 against the Waratahs at Suncorp Stadium and played a further five games for the Reds in 2021.
 

Dane Zander
Position: Frontrow
Height: 190cm
Weight: 128kg
Born: 23/08/1999
Place of birth: Brisbane, QLD
Senior Club: Norths
School: St Josephs, Nudgee College
Representative Honours: Queensland Country U19s (2018), Brisbane City NRC (2019-), Queensland Reds (2020-)
Super Rugby debut: 2020 v Brumbies, Canberra (Queensland)
Super Rugby caps: 18* (Queensland)
 
Feao Fotuaika
Position: Frontrow
Height: 185cm
Weight: 119kg
Born: 23/04/1993
Place of birth: Gisborne, NZ
Senior Club: Souths
School: St. Francis College
Representative Honours: Queensland Schoolboys (2011), Australian Schoolboys (2011), Brisbane City (2015-2019), Queensland Reds (2019-), Wallabies training camp (2021)
Super Rugby debut: 2019 v Highlanders, Dunedin (Queensland)
Super Rugby caps: 17* (Queensland)
 
Richie Asiata
Position: Hooker
Height: 178cm
Weight: 108kg
Born: 03/05/1996
Place of birth: Auckland, NZ
Senior Club: Easts
School: Anglican Church Grammar
Representative Honours: Queensland U20s (2016), Australia U20s (2016), Queensland Country NRC (2016-2018), Canterbury Mitre 10 wider squad (2019), Toronto Arrow MLR (2020), Queensland Reds (2021-)
Super Rugby caps: 2021 v Waratahs, Brisbane (Queensland)
Super Rugby debut: 6* (Queensland)