Mitchell heads west


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QR Queensland Reds player Drew Mitchell today announced he has signed a three-year deal to play with the Western Force.Mitchell considered offers from all four Australian provinces before deciding on a move west.

‘This is a rugby decision,’ Mitchell said.

‘The opportunity to potentially play fullback regularly was a big draw card and I’m looking forward to the challenges that lay ahead.’

‘I appreciate everything that the Reds have done for me in terms of developing me both as footballer and as a person and I’ve enjoyed my time here.’

Reds General Manager Alex Pope said Queensland Rugby had done everything in its power to retain Mitchell.

‘We put together a very competitive package for Drew. We considered his futureskills development needs and how he could best fit into the inevitable growth andstrike power of thisexciting youngQueensland backline.’ Pope said.

“We are obviously disappointed he has chosen to leave, but we wish him all the best.”

Mitchell is a product of the Reds Academy system and has made his mark on the Super 14 and International level while playing for Queensland.

He first represented Queensland Under 16s before going on to play for the Australian Under 16s, Schoolboys, Sevens, Under 21s, and Australia A.

Mitchell was a joint winner of the 2004 Tooheys New Australian Super 12 Rookie of the Year Award for his impressive debut year with the Reds when he made his debut against the Highlanders.

Last year he was a bolter on the Wallabies spring tour but ended up one of the few shining lights scoring six tries in 10 appearances and filling in capably at fullback for the injured Chris Latham.

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