Top five Coast league and union players

By Nick Cherry

Despite being a small region, the Sunshine Coast has an uncanny ability to produce professional athletes.

Although the Coast may not be known for its production of first class athletes, we have an extensive history of fielding well-known players such as Daly Cherry-Evans, Nelson Asofa-Solomona and Tony Williams.

But those big names were only affiliated with the region due to the Sunshine Coast Falcons being a feeder club to the Melbourne Storm and formerly the Manly Sea Eagles.

The following list are Sunshine Coast locals who ply their trade in professional rugby, in either Super Rugby or the NRL.

Name: Jake Friend

Organisation: NRL

Team: Sydney Roosters

Position: Hooker

Games: 214

Local Club: Noosa Pirates

Jake Friend (pictured with ball) playing for the Sydney Roosters. Credit: Naparazzi, Flickr

It’s no secret that Friend is one of the most successful players to hail from the Sunshine Coast. The former bad-boy turned NRL captain was long considered to be the second-best Hooker in Queensland behind only future-immortal, Cameron Smith. This year Friend will again play a pivotal role for his beloved Roosters, with the veteran expected to deliver week in week out. Expect to see Friend play big minutes and make lots of tackles per usual.

 

Name: Moses Mbye

Organisation: NRL

Team: Canterbury Bulldogs

Position: Fullback

Games: 83

Local Club: Noosa Pirates

Another product of the Pirates Moses Mbye is a rising star who will feature heavily for the Bulldogs in 2018. A positional switch will see him play at full back in this year’s NRL competition which comes as a surprise to many. However, Mbye is also a very talented athlete who can spark something special at any given moment in a game. After a few years at the top level, Mbye is more composed than what he used to be and its widely speculated that he will earn selection in the Queensland origin squad in the near future.

Name: Blake Enever

Organisation: Super Rugby

Team: ACT Brumbies

Position: Second Row

Games:

Local Club: USC Barbarians

Blake Enever is a man-mountain, standing 2m tall and weighing 115kg. The former University of the Sunshine Coast Barbarians player is now an established Super Rugby veteran having played for the QLD Reds and ACT Brumbies. Enever also represented Australia’s Under 20’s and made his test debut tour in the UK last year. His size makes him a useful acquisition to any side when it comes to scrummaging and line-outs and his development in the past couple of years is a testament to how hard he is willing to work.

Blake Enever (left) reaches for the ball in an NRC fixture. Photo: Naparazzi, Flickr

 

Name: Tate McDermott

Organisation: Super Rugby

Team: Queensland Reds

Position: Halfback

Games: 4

Local Club: Sunshine Coast Grammar

McDermott is entering his first year of Super Rugby having earnt a contract with the Reds after impressing on the Australian 7’s circuit and in the National Rugby Championship Championship. The 20-year-old livewire halfback will look to impress new head coach Brad Thorn and earn considerable game time. A product of the successful Sunshine Coast Grammar rugby program, McDermott has great vision on the field and his pass is very accurate. McDermott has already looked impressive this year having featured in four matches for the Reds so far.

Name: Todd Murphy

Organisation: NRL

Team: Brisbane Broncos

Position: Halves/Hooker

Games: 0

Local Club: Caloundra Sharks

Todd Murphy is hoping to make his NRL debut for the Broncos this year. A promising athlete who represented Caloundra, Murphy will wait patiently for his chance. He has big wraps from the coaching staff, but due to the presence of established starting players, his opportunity is still to present itself. Todd comes into the list at the misfortune of former Noosa Pirates junior Josh Mann-Rea, who tore his hamstring after three Super Rugby games this year. The 37-year-old former Wallaby was primed for this list but unfortunately, he was ruled out of rugby for six-months.

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