Wallabies skipper Stephen Moore looks back on a perfect union between his university studies and rugby.
Stephen Moore knows a successful organisation starts with a culture of strong leadership.
So the chance to help lead a transformation at the Queensland Reds was a big factor in the Wallabies captain returning to play for the club that gave him his Super Rugby start.
Moore moved back to Brisbane in December last year after signing a three-year deal with the Reds and, despite the side’s poor showing last season, said he was looking forward to helping the Reds to become a force in the competition.
Moore (Bachelor of Science ’06) was raised in Brisbane from a young age and began his university studies at UQ in 2001. He debuted with the Reds in 2003 after standout seasons with the UQ Rugby Club as a student.
The 34-year-old played 46 games for Queensland between 2003 and 2008 before making the move to Canberra to join the ACT Brumbies in 2009.
He made his Wallabies debut while with the Reds in 2005 and has gone on to play more than 100 Tests for Australia.
While the Australian hooker is expected to lead by example both on and off the field, he ruled himself out of contention for the captaincy before the start of the season, with his front-row partner James Slipper retaining those duties.
“A big part of my role here is to help James and the other leaders. If we can establish a strong culture around leadership it will be a step in the right direction," Moore said.
As part of his contract with the Reds, Moore is affiliated with the UQ Rugby Club and said he was thrilled to reconnect with the club with which he won a Colts-division premiership in 2002.
“Winning that grand final was definitely a highlight of my time at UQ. We were undefeated all year,” Moore said.
“A lot of those guys went on to have representative careers, so it was a great team to be involved with. Who knows, I might find myself pulling on the boots for them again one day.”
More than 210 UQ Rugby Club players have represented Queensland since the club was founded in 1911, while 60 have been selected for Australia. The club has produced 10 Wallabies captains, including Moore, James Horwill, Nathan Sharpe, Michael Lynagh, Geoffrey Shaw, Mark Loane, Charles Wilson, Keith Winning, Vayro Wilson and James Clark.
“The important thing is that most of the guys have done some form of study as well, which plays a big part in finding the right balance in life.”
Moore graduated with a Bachelor of Science in 2006, majoring in Biomedical Science.
“My undergraduate science degree was very much focused on anatomy, physiology and pharmacology. That knowledge has come in handy in my playing career because whenever I’ve had an injury, I’ve always known what the doctors and the physios were talking about.”
Despite his interest in science, Moore said his post-rugby career goals have changed in recent years and he was
instead looking to transition into the business world after hanging up the boots.
“It’s very common these days that people will change careers a number of times throughout their working lives,” Moore said.
“It’s a great thing because it brings a variety of skills and experience to a workplace and allows for continued growth within our society.”
To learn more about the UQ Rugby Club, visit uqrugby.com.au.