Hayes heads to Scotland
THERE is no rest for Fassifern grand finalist Landon Hayes.
The code-hopper who starred for Easts in Brisbane Premier Rugby before making a mid-season mercy dash back to the Bombers in the hope of winning his ill uncle a premiership, jetted to Scotland on Tuesday night to link with professional outfit Stirling County and pursue a career in the 15-man game.
Featuring for the only club to rise from the bottom division to the Scottish League Title, the 24-year-old will take part in a semi-professional Super 6 competition intended to bridge the gap between the amateur grade and the country's two Pro14 teams.
As the name would suggest, six teams have committed to contest the newly-formed league in its first five years.
They will act as feeder squads for the Glasgow Warriors and the Edinburgh Rugby Club, which compete against sides from Ireland, Italy, South Africa and Wales in the Pro14 series.
The outside centre who embraced rugby union and developed the foundational skills while studying at Ipswich Grammar School where he played three years of 1st XV, captained the team as a senior and represented Australian Schoolboys joins Stirling on a 14-month deal that will allow him to train full-time and supplement his income working one-day per week.
The exceptional cross-code talent who practised with the Gold Coast Titans as a teen before catching the attention of Ben and Shane Walker, and playing in the 2015 National Championship-winning Ipswich Jets will spend the time striving to impress and earn a call-up to the professional ranks.
Though he would welcome an invitation home from the Queensland Reds, with whom he trained as part of talent identification squads throughout high school, he sees an opening at Glasgow or Edinburgh to be a more realistic path forward.
"The Reds have different development pathways, so that opportunity probably won't arise,” he said.
"I'll be trying to get into Glasgow or Edinburgh, or sign with one of the English or French clubs.”