QLD Premier Rugby: Dragon Flies North to Conquer Rugby Dreams
Sunnybank captain, Brendan Mitchell, tells Rugby News about his impending move to the UK – Michael Atkinson reports.
After four seasons wearing the green, white and black of Sunnybank, captain Brendan Mitchell is departing the club for a foreign opportunity.
Mitchell is an inspirational leader who punches above his weight week-in, week-out and can cover all three backrow positions as well as lock.
He will be a massive loss to the Dragons.
But it’s time for Mitchell to see where rugby can take him.
“I’m going to England, to a club called Bury St. Edmunds” Mitchell told Rugby News.
“They’re about an hour north of London and they play in the National 2 competition.”
The Sunshine Coast junior made the move to Sunnybank in 2014 and the place quickly felt like home.
“They welcomed me with open arms the moment I stepped foot in that place,” said Mitchell.
“They have treated me so well and I felt like I always belonged there.”
His time as a Dragon came to an end with a thumping 39-19 loss to the University of Queensland in last week’s Preliminary Final.
And the captain admitted it was hard not to think about the nearing end, when the game was getting away from his side.
“There was about 15 minutes to go and there was a scrum and I kind of looked up at the scoreboard and saw the score and how long was left to go and I just thought, ‘Oh this probably gunna be the end of it here,’” Mitchell said, reflectively.
“I started thinking about a few things and thought I better make the last 15 minutes count.”
The older brother of Aussie Sevens representative, Conor Mitchell, has starred for the Dragons across the past four seasons and last year was rewarded with selection for Brisbane City in the National Rugby Championship.
That was as far as rugby could take him in Australia, however, so Mitchell went looking elsewhere.
“I was at a bit of a stalemate here and not really going anywhere,” Mitchell revelaed.
“So I thought I’d go over there and have a crack at playing overseas and see if anything good could come of it.”
“But also, I finished my uni degree halfway through last year so I thought, instead of settling down right now I may as well go overseas and have a bit of fun before I get too serious.”
The 24-year-old may not be ready to settle down but things could realistically get serious for him on the rugby field when he shows his talents in the northern hemisphere.
Particularly if he can put his Irish passport to good use.
“I was speaking to (former ARU GM of Rugby Sevens) Anthony Eddy who’s involved in Irish Rugby Sevens,” said Mitchell.
“They have a squad that trains in London for Sevens players that are based in England.”
“So I’ll hopefully be linking up with them and hopefully something can happen out of that.”
Mitchell has faced brother Conor plenty of times in Premier Rugby, with the latter playing for UQ until this season.
And the family could once again be split if they were to meet in an International Sevens fixture.
But Dragons fans shouldn’t be too sad – Mitchell has vowed to return to Oldmac Oval.
“Once my time is done overseas I definitely hope to come back and pull on the Sunnybank jersey again,” said Mitchell.
“Try and get one of those grand finals that’s gotten away from us the last few years.”