Australia v New Zealand - 2019 Rugby Championship
Australia v New Zealand - 2019 Rugby Championship

Thorn adds Wallaby heavyweight in retention drive

The relentless re-signing rush at the Queensland Reds has rolled on with backrower Lukhan Salakaia-Loto extending his deal at Ballymore until the end of the 2022 Super Rugby season.

The 21-Test Wallaby is the 13th player to sign a long-term deal with the Reds in a show of faith in coach Brad Thorn and his vision for Queensland.

The 23-year-old played 11 Tests in 2019 and was part of Australia's World Cup squad after playing all but one of Queensland's Super Rugby matches and finishing third in the Pilecki Medal count.

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Lukhan Salakaia-Loto will be a Red until the end of 2022. Picture: Dianne Manson/Getty
Lukhan Salakaia-Loto will be a Red until the end of 2022. Picture: Dianne Manson/Getty


Salakaia-Loto said the decision to ink a three-year contract extension made sense on and off the field.

"What we've got building at the Reds is exciting and I'm very fortunate to be a part of what's to come in the near future,'' Salakaia-Loto said.

"I've enjoyed my time with both the Reds and Wallabies so far and future success and opportunities with both squads is what helped make my decision an easy one.

"I'm very happy for my family and I to be staying here in Queensland for the next couple of years.''

Salakaia-Loto embodies what Thorn's rebuild at Ballymore is all about after spending some time in Queensland's talent pathways and choosing to stick around.


He represented Queensland and Australia at the under 20s level in 2016 when he played for Brisbane City in the NRC and also made his Super Rugby debut against the Bulls in Pretoria.

The 198cm-tall, 121kg Salakaia-Loto quickly became a regular starter for the Reds in 2017, making his Test debut against South Africa the same year.

"He's represented Australia in 21 Tests - including a World Cup, and he's only 23,'' Thorn said.

"In a short space of time he's gained some good experience and alongside the lads here, he'll continue to develop and grow within our program.''


Harry Hoopert (to the end of 2023), Isaac Lucas (2023), Izack Rodda (2023), Harry Wilson (2023), Fraser McReight (2023), Tate McDermott (2023), Angus Blyth (2023), Taniela Tupou (2023), Lukhan Salakaia-Loto (2022), Jock Campbell (2022), Alex Mafi (2022), Hamish Stewart (2022), Jordan Petaia (2022), Liam Wright (2021), Angus Scott-Young (2021), Bryce Hegarty (2021), Brandon Paenga-Amosa (2021), Feao Fotuaika (2021), Chris Feauai-Sauita (2020)