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30 October, 2020

Pace and size the key to Pride engine room

THE Northern Pride this week re-signed four key players as they plan for the 2021 season.

By Peter McCullagh

The club has announced Lata Fakalelu, Brad Lupi, Terrence Casey-Douglas and Rod Griffin will be returning to the Pride for the coming season. 

Pride Coach Ty Williams said the four forwards, alongside the recently re-signed Nick Lui-Toso, would bring much-needed pace and size to the club. 

“Adding depth to our engine room. Lata weighs in at 121 kilos and one of the quickest in our club and across the ground, will play an important role off the bench,” he said. 

“Brad Lupi is another big body at 125 kilos. He adds another aspect off the bench, we need that depth and experience moving forward.” Williams is quietly confident and excited as the roster is starting to take shape as his roster and reflects the player structure capable of winning the competition. 

“I’m assembling a squad that’s not going to make the five, but can win the competition,” he said. “These four guys are key elements of that moving forward. Rod Griffin brings a wealth of experience to the team and will serve strongly in a leadership capacity. 

 “Rod served as vice captain this year and he’s a winner. He played in the 2010 Grand Final. “What Rod brings to us is what’s going to be very important to us in the coming season, getting the young guys through. Williams believes his squad reflects the current NRL trend of fast moving big bodies. 

 With four spots left in Williams’ roster without the Cowboys’ allocation the club is still yet to go to market for a couple of key signings. 

“Perhaps one more big guy for through the middle, plus another depth half would help us out.”


The Kenfrost Homes Northern Pride are pleased to announce the re-signing of 2019 Hastings Deering Colts (U20s) Player of The Year Tom McGrath. 

McGrath is a player of great potential and at a young age showcased that he is a future leader of the Northern Pride through his hard work and dedication to the Club. 

“McGrath is a player who is a dangerous runner of the footy and his biggest asset is he enjoys the defensive component of the game. As a coach you love a player that competes in all aspects of the game and Tom ticks all those boxes” said Coach Ty Williams. 

Joining McGrath in the Pride colours for 2021 is Ewan Moore. After breaking his leg in the Intrust Super Cup game against the Redcliffe Dolphins in 2019, Ewan has worked very hard on his rehab in the off season and made a successful return to Rugby League during the Kenfrost Homes Lighting Challenge this year. 

Coach Williams said “I was excited to see Ewan return to playing the game during the Lighting Challenge. I could see him get more confident after every game played. It’s going to be an exciting pre-season and upcoming season for Ewan”. 

The third player confirmed for the 2021 playing roster is Lighting Challenge Player of the Season Evan Child. Evan was the standout player for the competition during the COVID period. Coach Williams said he was quite surprised with how Evan had come back from his Knee Reconstruction but was very happy with his progress through the games. 

“Evan was definitely best on ground every game and the confidence he built from playing good, consistent football over the six-week period, is going to be a great launching block for Evan heading into the 2021 season”. 

All three players have come through the Pathways Program of the Northern Pride and are great additions to an extremely talented playing group that is assembling for 2021.

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