Queensland Rugby pathway products Matt Faessler and Josh Nasser have re-signed with the Queensland Reds through 2023 and 2024 respectively.
The pair both enjoyed breakout 2022 Super Rugby campaigns and will form a strong group of hookers at Ballymore alongside the recently re-signed Richie Asiata and Bond University's George Blake.
Faessler's re-signing comes following his selection in the Australia A squad today for next month’s Pacific Nations Cup in Fiji, capping an extraordinary 2022 for the Darling Downs product.
Reds General Manager – Professional Rugby Sam Cordingley said: “Matt and Josh are another two Queensland pathway products with exciting futures.
“There's great competition at hooker with Richie Asiata and George Blake also in our squad.
“Josh was outstanding this year – we felt that he was tracking for higher honours prior to his injury. Brad (Thorn) and Cameron (Lillicrap) have done a great job of converting him from tighthead to becoming our regular starting hooker this season.
“It’s a great reward for Matt. He’s been around the game in Queensland for a number of years, he got his opportunity this year as an injury replacement for Josh, now through his performances has earned his place in the 2023 squad.”
Nasser said: “I’m really excited to have re-signed for the next two seasons.
“I’ve come through the pathway with a lot of the players and coaches at Ballymore and I couldn’t imagine myself anywhere else.
“I was happy with my form this year before my injury. I’ve still got a lot to learn playing hooker and I’m really motivated to get back to full fitness and take my game to the next level in 2023.”
Faessler said: “Queensland is my home and I’m very grateful to have signed on for 2023.
“Playing Super Rugby for the Reds was a dream come true and it’s a special group of players and staff at Ballymore at the moment.
“I’ve got a lot of good friends in the group who I’ve come through the pathway with, so it’s unreal to play alongside them in a maroon jersey.
“Getting picked for Australia A gives me the opportunity to continue to build and advance myself as a player and I’m excited to bring my learnings back to Queensland next season.”
23-year-old Faessler made his Queensland debut in Round 4 of Super Rugby Pacific and went on to miss just one game for the Reds for the remainder of the season, making his starting debut against Moana Pasifika in Round 14.
The Toowoomba Grammar School product has plied his trade for Brothers in Queensland Premier Rugby and with Queensland Country in the National Rugby Championship (NRC), before earning a pre-season shot at Ballymore in 2021.
A Queensland schoolboys and Australian Barbarians representative, Faessler also represented the Junior Wallabies at the 2018 World U20s Championships in France.
After debuting in 2020, Nasser enjoyed his best Super Rugby season to date in 2022 before a pectoral injury saw the promising hooker ruled out for the remainder of the Reds’ campaign in Round 7.
Still just 22-years-old, the Gregory Terrace product has made the switch from tighthead prop to hooker in recent years and found success in the number 2 jersey this season, scoring three tries in his seven appearances.
Nasser featured heavily in the 2019 Junior Wallabies side who finished as runners-up in the U20s World Championship in France, while has also represented Brisbane City in the NRC.
The University of Queensland frontrower has already earned 16 caps for his state and joins the likes of Josh Flook, Zane Nonggorr and Jordan Petaia in committing to Queensland Rugby through 2024.
- Position: Hooker
- Height: 188cm
- Weight: 112kg
- Born: 23/06/1999
- Place of birth: Brisbane
- Senior Club: University of Queensland
- School: St Joseph’s Gregory Terrace
- Super Rugby Debut: 08/02/2020 v Lions
- Super Rugby caps: 16
- Position: Hooker
- Height: 183cm
- Weight: 109kg
- Born: 21/12/1998
- Place of birth: Toowoomba
- Senior Club: Brothers
- School: Toowoomba Grammar School
- Super Rugby Debut: 04/032022 v Western Force
- Super Rugby caps: 12