Team New South Wales and Team Queensland Announced Ahead of PBR Origin I in Newcastle, New South Wales on March 16
By: Kacie Albert Wednesday, March 23, 2022 @ 2:51 PM
Ahead of the opening iteration of the 2022 PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Australia Monster Energy Tour Origin tournament, the organization has announced the complete 10-rider rosters that will represent Team New South Wales and Team Queensland at the state vs. state bull riding showdown.
A three-part series of Monster Energy Tour stops, the PBR Origin is modeled after the State of Origin rugby league event that is considered Australian sport’s greatest rivalry.
Through a trio of events held March 26 in Newcastle, New South Wales, April 23 in Tamworth, New South Wales, and May 21 in Brisbane, Queensland, Team Queensland and Team New South Wales will go head-to-head to determine which state is the supreme bull riding powerhouse.
Each stop of the 2022 PBR Origin tournament will feature three rounds of competition. After each of the 10 competing bull riders for both teams attempt one bull each in Round 1 and Round 2, the Top 4 riders from each team will advance to the bonus round for one final out. The event winner will be the team with the highest combined score in the event aggregate.
Team New South Wales, set to be captained by 2016 PBR Australia Champion Cody Heffernan (Singleton, New South Wales), will be rounded out by: Will Purcell (Albury, New South Wales), Trefor Sproule (Singleton, New South Wales), Braith Nock (Bendemeer, New South Wales), Lachlan Richardson (Gresford, New South Wales), Lachlan Slade (Tamworth, New South Wales), Thomas Hudson (Dungog, New South Wales), Oscar Leake (Dungog, New South Wales), Steven Carter (Wards River, New South Wales) and Josh Dallas (Wootton, New South Wales).
Team Queensland will be guided by four-time and reigning Australian Champion Aaron Kleier (Clermont, Queensland), with the remainder of the team being: Kelsey Pavlou (Gracemere, Queensland), Brumby Brandenburg (Clermont, Queensland), Qynn Anderson (Koumala, Queensland), Jake Curr (Mount Isa, Queensland), Michael Smith (Tully, Queensland), Lane Mellers (Mundubbera, Queensland), Caiden Sandilands (Rockhampton, Queensland), Dan Ruhland (Mount Walker, Queensland) and Taran Chirgwin (Calliope, Queensland).
While the Captains were selected earlier in 2022, the aforementioned teams were determined based on the standings following the most recent PBR Australia Monster Energy Tour event in Mildura, Victoria, on March 19.
PBR Australia held its first Origin event in 2019, when Team Queensland (682.5 points) defeated Team New South Wales (428.5 points) inside Sydney’s ICC Theatre. The Origin tournament returned in 2021, expanding to a three-part series of tour stops, with the Team Queensland Maroons again besting the Team New South Wales Blues, this time sweeping them through the first two events of the tournament.
Among the standouts on Team Queensland who will be keen to defend their title of PBR Origin Champions are:
- Kelsey Pavlou will return to Team Queensland for the second time in his career as a top contender for the 2022 PBR Australia Championship. Thus far in 2022, Pavlou is ranked No. 3 in the national standings, within 95.5 points of the No. 1 position. Pavlou has competed at all four 2022 events to date in Australia, registering three Top 5 efforts, including a season-best, third-place result in Rockhampton, Queensland.
- Brumby Brandenburg will make his PBR Origin debut fresh off earning his career-first event win at the most recent Australian Monster Energy Tour event in Mildura, Victoria. En route to the win, Brandenburg recorded the first two qualified rides of his PBR career, covering Cash Money for 83.5 points and Natural Hillbilly for 86.5 points. He earned 75.5 national points and catapulted to No. 5 in the race for the 2022 PBR Australia Championship.
- Young gun Qynn Andersen will make his PBR Origin debut in Newcastle when he rides for Team Queensland on March 26. The 18-year-old sensation made his PBR debut in 2021, catching fire near the end of the campaign, registering three Top-5 finishes en route to qualifying for his career-first PBR Australia Grand Finals. To date in 2022, Andersen is ranked No. 6 in the race for the PBR Australia Championship, 137.5 points removed from the top spot.
Eager to earn their first PBR Origin Championship, riders to note for Team New South Wales include:
- Seven-time PBR World Finals qualifier Lachlan Richardson will bring veteran experience to the Team New South Wales roster. Richardson first rode for the Blues in 2021, a season which concluded with him ranked No. 6 in the race for the PBR Australia Championship. Thus far in 2022, Richardson has competed at just two events, and will be looking for his first qualified ride of the near year when he competes for Team New South Wales in New Castle.
- In 2021, Lachlan Slade was electric at the PBR Origin tournament. While his team may have fallen short of the tournament title, he made history, recording the first-ever 90-point ride of the event, and his career, when he teamed with Cattle King Boogers Beach for a 90-point score in Cairns, Queensland. After finishing 2021 with an 8th-place result at the Australian Grand Finals, ranked No. 10 in the nation, Slade has ridden just once in 2022, competing in Scone, New South Wales.
- Will Purcell will return to Team New South Wales for the first time since the inaugural PBR Origin in 2019. Having registered two Top 10 finishes thus far in 2022, including a third-place finish at the most recent tour stop in Mildura, Victoria, Purcell is presently ranked No. 7 in the race for the season’s PBR Australia Championship.
Tickets for PBR Origin I – Newcastle at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre, PBR Origin II – Tamworth at AELEC Arena, and PBR Origin III – Brisbane at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre are on-sale now and can be purchased at pbraustralia.com.au.
All future PBR Australia events are subject to change, planned in accordance with directives issued by relevant government and health authorities given the evolving regulations during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.