Current Reds players Chris Feauai-Sautia and Curtis Browning are both from Brisbane State High.
Current Reds players Chris Feauai-Sautia and Curtis Browning are both from Brisbane State High.

The great rugby nursery that gave us the King


GPS Premierships: 16

Most recent: 2016

THE catapult that GPS rugby can be into a professional career is summed up by Reds hit Jordan Petaia who was running out for Brisbane State High a year ago.

Few have the polish or physical maturity to play 11 Super Rugby games at just 18 but the fairytale will grow again this week with selection in a train-on squad for the Wallabies.

Those watching him play Churchie last year saw a super in-and-away from fullback and pondered that he'd be a good one to follow for 2020 and beyond.


Yeah, right. Sometimes, footwork, acceleration through contact, instinct and luck hit the fast-forward button on a career just like his as a winger-centre.

"The school is really proud of how well Jordan's done but he has also shown everyone how hard you have to work for that chance as well," BSHS director of rugby Dan Ritchie said.

"Old boy Josh Afu (Queensland rugby development officer) spoke to the boys really well and described how the thought 'what have I got to go to?' came into his head after a major injury when playing.

"You play rugby but doing well academically is very important."

State High has a position in the GPS system like no other because it is a state school with extra diversity and not just because it is co-ed.

It is the school of sevens star Charlotte Caslick as much as rugby league legend Wally Lewis.

Lewis toured with the renowned 1977-78 Australian Schoolboys to Europe and Japan when Mark Ella and Tony Melrose limited his games at inside centre.

The indomitable Bill McLean was State High's first Wallabies captain in the 1940s while son Peter played 16 Tests.


BHS player Luke Waldie playing against Nuggee. Picture: AAP
BHS player Luke Waldie playing against Nuggee. Picture: AAP

Wily World Cup-winning halfback and former Queensland captain Peter Slattery was a State High whiz in the early 1980s with handling and passing that would be in demand today.

While State High doesn't have the depth of other schools, teams like the Class of 2009 were exceptional.

Nine boys from that undefeated premiership side played Australian Schoolboys that year, including Super Rugby-bound Chris Feauai-Sautia, Paul Alo-Emile and Curtis Browning.

Reds young gun Jordan Petaia. Picture: Getty
Reds young gun Jordan Petaia. Picture: Getty

State High's 38-10 loss to Nudgee College last Saturday did include some sparkling footwork from fullback Grant Tuisamoa and decisive play from hooker captain Nesta Mahina.

The team of coach Pat Byron will never be short on lineout ball from streamlined jumper Zeph Tuinona.


Bill McLean

Peter McLean

Wally Lewis

Paul Carozza

Peter Slattery

Samu Kerevi

David Wilson

Chris Roche

Paul Mooney

Chris Feauai-Sautia

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