The Queensland Reds have bolstered their backline depth for 2019 signing former Auckland Blues playmaker Matt McGahan, plus Queensland outside backs pairing Jock Campbell and Teti Tela.
McGahan has put pen to paper through 2019 – so too Tela, who made his Reds debut earlier this year, while Campbell has signed through 2020 after two standout seasons for Bond University Queensland Country in the National Rugby Championship (NRC).
“It’s good to have Matt join us here in Queensland,” said Reds Head Coach Brad Thorn.
“He’s a good fit and a welcome addition to our squad. He comes to Ballymore having played elite Rugby in New Zealand, as well as in Japan.”
McGahan said he couldn’t wait to arrive at Ballymore and work under Thorn – a former All Blacks Rugby World Cup champion.
“I’m very excited to come here to the Queensland Reds – a place rich with history,” said McGahan.
“It’s a good opportunity to come back and play Super Rugby again. I felt a couple of years ago there’s still some left in me and 25 is a good age to reignite the hunger inside again.
“A big reason for my decision was the head coach Brad Thorn. Just knowing his history, but the humbleness of him too. What he did in the game of Rugby and rugby league, not too many people have done and and I’m just really looking forward to it.”
McGahan, who is Australian qualified having being born in Sydney, comes to Ballymore with a good pedigree – son of 32-Test former New Zealand Kiwis captain, Eastern Suburbs Roosters captain-coach, plus 1987 Rugby League Golden Boot winner, Hugh McGahan.
Despite numerous approaches from Rugby while still at high school in Auckland, McGahan followed in his father’s footsteps and took up a rugby league contract with the Melbourne Storm in the NRL’s U20s competition.
After three years in Victoria and still to earn a first-grade appearance with the Storm, he parted ways with rugby league and moved back to New Zealand in 2013 to play rugby again.
McGahan was signed by Mitre 10 Cup side North Harbour in 2014 and went on to play 12 Super Rugby matches with the Auckland Blues between 2015-2016.
For the past two seasons, he’s lived in Japan and has been playing for Top League side Yamaha Jubilo from where he’ll join the Reds.
Thorn said: “Jock and Teti have been rewarded for their hard work. I worked closely with them in 2017 during the NRC with Queensland Country and it’s pleasing to see them take the next step in their Rugby careers here at Ballymore.”
Campbell is a genuine product of the Queensland Club Rugby system. He played in the Second XV at The Southport School in 2013 and went on to star for University of Queensland in Queensland Premier Rugby, forming part of their 2017 title side.
He has been a part of two Grand Final teams in as many years playing with Queensland Country in the NRC, including starting at fullback in last month’s decider against the Fijian Drua.
Tela was also a part of Country’s 2017 NRC title-winning team after strong performances in Queensland Premier Rugby with Souths.
The Fijian-born flyer went on to make his Super Rugby debut against the Sunwolves in the Reds’ final match of the 2018 season.