Queensland Reds bolster frontrow with dual re-signing

Tue, May 10, 2022, 7:58 PM
Reds Media Unit
by Reds Media Unit

Queensland Rugby pathway products Richie Asiata and Zane Nonggorr have re-signed with the Queensland Reds through 2024.

The retention of the pair will see them at Ballymore for the next two seasons to further boost Queensland’s frontrow stocks.

Reds hooker Asiata said: “It means a lot for me to re-sign for Queensland.

“My family lives here, which was the main reason to stay at Ballymore, as well as to continue to play for my home state.

“I’m looking forward to see what we can achieve as a team in the next few years here in Queensland.”

Queensland prop Nonggorr said: “I’m really excited to re-sign at the Queensland Reds.

“It’s my home state and I feel like I’ve improved my footy a lot in my time here. After getting my first start for the club and getting more minutes on the field, I’m really excited for the next couple of seasons.

“We’ve got such a close group of boys here and we have fun together and enjoy each other’s company. We’re playing some really good Rugby, so I’m keen to see where we can go.

“It’s unfortunate that I’m injured at the moment and can’t play, but the boys have been keeping my spirits up and now I can really focus on my rehab, play some club Rugby and make sure I’m prepared for a full pre-season and the 2023 season.

Reds General Manager – Professional Rugby Sam Cordingley said: “Richie has worked extremely hard on his game and himself physically over the last 18 months. 

“He has put himself in a great position with the injuries at hooker this season and he has been rewarded with some strong performances.

“We are looking forward to seeing his growth continue over the next few years.

“We have been really pleased with Zane’s progress. 

“He has come through the Queensland system as a young tighthead playing behind one of the best in the world, so he has had to be patient.  

“He was recently rewarded with his first start and has showed some outstanding progress. We expect that we’ll see him continue to improve into the future.”

Asiata, an Easts and Anglican Church Grammar school product, made his Queensland and Super Rugby debut in 2021 and has gone to earn 11 caps for his state.

The versatile hooker has risen through the ranks alongside a number of his current Queensland teammates and head coach Brad Thorn, playing in the Queensland U20s side and in the National Rugby Championship for Queensland Country.

The 25-year-old was a key part of Easts’ 2020 Hospital Challenge Cup winning outfit, before linking with the Reds for the 2021 Super Rugby campaign after professional stints in New Zealand and the United States.

After an injury in the pre-season, Asiata has cemented in spot in the starting line-up in recent weeks, impressing with his work rate around the park.

Nonggorr joins his frontrow companion Asiata in staying at Ballymore for the next two seasons and will continue his set-piece apprenticeship under renowned scrum coach Cameron Lillicrap and world class tighthead Taniela Tupou.

A schoolboy sensation at The Southport School, Nonggorr has represented his state and country at U18 and U20 levels and is a proud Gold Coast Rugby product, playing his club Rugby with Bond University.

The 21-year-old was called into the Queensland squad as injury cover in 2020 and made his debut the same season against the Waratahs in Super Rugby AU.

The tighthead prop has since gone on to play 12 games for Queensland and made his starting debut in Round 9 of Super Rugby Pacific this year before an untimely knee injury brought an end to his season.

Richie Asiata

Position: Hooker

Height: 178cm

Weight: 108kg

Born: 03/05/1996

Place of birth: Auckland, New Zealand

Senior Club: Easts

School: Anglican Church Grammar School

Super Rugby Debut: 19/02/2021 v Waratahs

Super Rugby Caps: 11

Zane Nonggorr

Position: Tighthead prop

Height: 186cm

Weight: 126kg

Born: 30/03/2001

Place of birth: Cairns, Queensland 

Senior Club: Bond University

School: The Southport School

Super Rugby Debut: 08/08/2020 v Waratahs,

Super Rugby Caps: 12