South African-born lock Marco Kotze has become the 11th Queensland-based National Rugby Championship player to be contracted by the Reds.
Kotze joins the Reds as a member of the recently formed Elite Development Squad, after featuring heavily in Brisbane City’s victorious NRC campaign.
Originally from Johannesburg, Kotze moved to Australia in 2013 following an invitation from then-Brumbies coach Jake White to train in a professional team environment in Canberra. A shoulder injury limited his opportunities that year and he made the decision to move north to Brisbane to play Queensland Premier Grade Rugby with local club GPS.
Kotze was a strong foundation in the Brisbane City forward pack, with brutal physically and a high work rate features of his game.
Reds head coach Richard Graham said the 28-year-old was a good addition to the Reds training group.
“I’ve seen a bit of Marco throughout the NRC and was aware of the impact he was having on the group,” Graham said.
“He clearly has a lot of respect within the playing group as a result of his contributions in the NRC. He’s not afraid of hard work and was balancing working as a landscaper on the Gold Coast and training with Brisbane City, so this a fantastic opportunity for him and just reward for his efforts.
“He works incredibly hard both on and off the field and his enthusiasm around the group is infectious.”
The Reds Elite Development squad is an initiative by Queensland Rugby designed to ensure the Reds retain the best talent the state has to offer.
Other players to sign to the Reds Elite Development Squad include Brisbane City’s starting props in the NRC grand final, Sef Faagase and Pettowa Paraka, Australian Under 20s flyhalf Jake McIntyre and Queensland Country centre Sam Johnson, who made his Super Rugby debut earlier this year.