FORMER Reds halfback Scott Gale has grabbed a Japanese club deal in an early sign that Australia’s shrinking Super Rugby market will force fringe players overseas.
The imminent axing of the Western Force or Melbourne Rebels will cut professional opportunities for players like Gale seeking to reboot their careers at other clubs.
Gale, 22, has instead decided on a deal with the Kamaishi Seawaves, the club where Wallaby Scott Fardy is revered for his 2011 relief efforts after a tsunami swept through the town.
Gale will head to Japan in June, cutting short his season with unbeaten Premier Rugby leaders University, who meet Norths at Courtney Field on Saturday.
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Nine frustrating months of arm slings, crutches and rehabilitation will be poured into Saturday’s club comeback at GPS for Campbell “Mango” Magnay.
A 40-minute hitout in the centres against Wests at Ashgrove will determine whether Magnay is up to a bench role for Queensland against NSW at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday week.
The Reds definitely need a pacy, 104kg body to make a mark at the tailend of games because the bench’s lack of impact in recent games has been a handbrake.
Running out the cobwebs is only part of it for Magnay, 20.
“A long break has enabled me to strengthen my upper body, work on my passing and practice my finishing options to better isolate the last defender,” Magnay said.
“I’d like to see all those little improvements come through because it’s very difficult and frustrating watching from the sidelines for so long.”
Just as he was due to make a pre-season comeback from a shoulder reconstruction, Magnay was back under the knife for hip surgery after twisting awkwardly in a tackle at training.
“I want to be available for Reds selection as soon as possible so a good club hitout is the start,” Magnay said.
Magnay and Wallabies halfback Nick Frisby will beef up the third-placed GPS team against a Bulldogs line-up stiffened by the presence of back Lachie Maranta and No.8 Leroy Houston.
It will be Houston’s first match since a knock to the eye forced his late withdrawal from a Reds chance against the Jaguares in Buenos Aires on March 26.
Second-placed Sunnybank will have Reds flyhalf Jake McIntyre to steer the side against Bond University at Oldmac Oval while backrower Caleb Timu’s comeback will continue for Souths against Easts at Chipsy Wood Oval.
Originally published as Super axing to compound overseas exodus
SOURCE: newsnow sport