Super Rugby Reds re-sign two, lose Tapuai

The Queensland Reds have re-signed young guns Curtis Browning and Chris Feauai-Sautia but have lost centre Ben Tapuai to the Western Force.

Tapuai, who has seven Test caps for the Wallabies, leaves Ballymore after seven seasons and 67 caps for the Reds.

He was restricted to just 10 Super Rugby appearances this year as he battled to overcome a pre-season hamstring tweak, but soon found himself behind the likes of Wallabies bolter Samu Kerevi and Karmichael Hunt in Queensland’s midfield pecking order.

Tapuai’s move to the Force could be the fresh start he needs to recapture his form that saw him become a crucial cog in Queensland’s Super Rugby championship team of 2011.

“It’s the nature of professional sport, but unfortunately Ben has suffered a few injuries and the good form of Samu kept him on the bench in 2015,” Reds coach Richard Graham said.

“We wish him well and are happy he has been given the opportunity to continue his Super Rugby career at the Force.”

Meanwhile, the Reds have retained Browning for one more season and Feauai-Sautia for a further two years.

Loose forward Browning, 21, was a bench regular for Queensland in 2015 but suffered a season-ending knee injury on tour in South Africa.

Feauai-Sautia, also 21, is coming off his most consistent Super Rugby campaign to date, having played in all bar one of Queensland’s games.

He sits in the top five for the team in run metres (715m), broken tackles (31), line breaks (13) and offloads (9).

“At 21 years of age, these guys are still just youngsters and their best Rugby is ahead of them,” Graham said.

“The more they play and the more they learn, the better they will be.”

Graham’s own future as coach is still to be determined, with the outcomes of the Queensland Rugby Union’s all-encompassing review of operations set to be handed down at some stage this month.

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