Macquarie Scorpions unveil seven new signings for 2020 Newcastle Rugby League season

FRESH START: New Macquarie Scorpions coach Steve Kidd flanked by, from left, recruits Justin Afflick, Matt Moon and Jacob Afflick at Lyall Peacock Field this week. Picture: David Stewart
FRESH START: New Macquarie Scorpions coach Steve Kidd flanked by, from left, recruits Justin Afflick, Matt Moon and Jacob Afflick at Lyall Peacock Field this week. Picture: David Stewart

MACQUARIE Scorpions have announced seven new recruits for the 2020 Newcastle rugby league season.

And you get the sense there could be more to come, given that pre-season training won't kick off until the New Year.

The Lakes Mail was at Lyall Peacock Field this week to meet new Macquarie coach Steve Kidd and a few of the new signings.

Among them were brothers Jacob and Justin Afflick, who last year played at South Newcastle.

Jacob, 23, is a winger or fullback.

Justin, 26, is a front rower.

When asked what attracted the brothers to Toronto, Jacob didn't hesitate.

"Opportunity," he said. "A fresh start."

"I'm hoping I can bring a bit of speed to the team in attack, and to stiffen up their edges," he said.

Justin said joining a team that was coming off two disappointing seasons was not a concern.

A new-look Macquarie Scorpions team will run out for the Toronto faithful in season 2020. Among the club's new signings already are, from left, Justin Afflick, Matt Moon, coach Steve Kidd, and Jacob Afflick. Picture: David Stewart

A new-look Macquarie Scorpions team will run out for the Toronto faithful in season 2020. Among the club's new signings already are, from left, Justin Afflick, Matt Moon, coach Steve Kidd, and Jacob Afflick. Picture: David Stewart

"We [South Newcastle] struggled at the back end of last season, too, so we know what it's like," he said.

He imagined that playing with the home team at Toronto would be more pleasant than playing there as a visitor.

"It's always been tough to play here," he said, looking out onto the Lyall Peacock playing field.

"You just know that when you come here, it's going to be a tough, physical game."

Justin said he hoped to continue that Macquarie tradition of strong defence, but to also showcase his ball skills.

Another Toronto recruit who will be looking to lock down a first-grade berth is Matt Moon.

The 20-year-old utility forward returns to the club after a stint with the Newcastle Knights under-20s.

A Bega junior, Moon moved to the Toronto district to link with the Knights, and played some reserve grade with Macquarie a couple of seasons ago under Kidd.

"I was pretty keen to play under Kiddy again," Moon said of his return.

An energetic player on both sides of the ball, Moon said he was keen to meet his new clubmates and to start training.

Also among the new Macquarie signings is Taylor Welch, 29, a centre or winger who the club said had played in the English Super League, in the Queensland Cup, and for America against Australia in the 2013 Rugby League World Cup.

Joe Gardiner, 23, is a prop originally from South West Rocks who joins the Scorpions from Guildford in the Ron Massey Cup.

The Fijian pair of Rob Buaserau and Nimilote Qio, both big outside backs who played together at Dapto in 2018, round out the list of new signings.

Kidd said Buaserau had been the leading try scorer in the Illawarra Cup.

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