University of Queensland fullback Tom Banks will join the Brumbies in Super Rugby on a one-year deal in 2017.
The 22-year-old lit up Premier Grade with the Red Heavies in 2016 and continued that form into the National Rugby Championship with Queensland Country, earning selection in the official Team of the Season.
Realising his dream of becoming a professional rugby player is the icing on the cake for a year chock-full of highlights.
“It’s turned out to be a really good year,” Banks laughed, packing his bags for tomorrow’s road-trip to Canberra.
“We had a great culture at the Heavies this year and the team was so close-knit, I’m definitely going to miss all of them and the rest of the club next year.
“It feels like there’s some unfinished business in Prem Grade but hopefully the boys can go one-better next year and I’m sure they can.”
Banks earned his second Queensland Reds cap in July before capping the year off as a strike weapon in Toutai Kefu’s running rugby Queensland Country side.
Registering a competition-high 12 linebreaks, six linebreak assists and six tries through eight games, Banks forced his way onto the radar of every coach in the country – including Stephen Larkham at the Brumbies.
“Tom has the ideal attributes we look for in a Brumbies player,” Larkham said in a press release this morning.
“He is young, strong in defence and attack and hungry to make his mark at the Super Rugby level.
“We are delighted to sign a player of his quality for the 2017 Super Rugby season and I am sure that the Brumbies fans will enjoy following Tom’s development with interest.”
With change in the air at the Brumbies’ University of Canberra campus, opportunity beckons.
“There’s a bit of a changing of the guard at the Brumbies at the moment which is exciting for the young players,” Banks said.
“I’d love to be starting in 2017 but right now my only focus is on working as hard as I can in the preseason and being ready when my opportunity comes.”
Banks, labelled by pundits as “a certain future Wallaby” with striking similarities to Chris Latham, credits his rapid growth as a player to his time at the UQ Rugby Academy this preseason.
Tom, with the rest of the Brumbies in tow, will return to Brisbane on July 7 to take on the Queensland Reds.
Congratulations Tom on your 43 Red Heavies caps and we wish you all the best on the next step in your career!