One of the most resilient players the game has ever seen, Brent Tate overcame multiple injuries in his playing career, displaying guts and determination. This ambassador for the game truly shows what it means to put on the Maroon jersey and has inspired many along the way, so let’s take a look back at his rugby league journey.
Player to watch
Brent Tate was born March 3, 1982 in Roma, Queensland. Plucked from the Redcliffe Dolphins by the Brisbane Broncos in 2001, he quickly earned a reputation as a player to watch. It didn’t take long for Tate to earn representative honours when in 2002 he took the field for his first State of Origin match in Game III, made the Kangaroos squad and also won the Broncos ‘Rookie of the Year’ award. Playing a total of 229 NRL matches, Tate made his way from the Broncos to the Warriors in 2008, followed by the Cowboys in 2011.
The first Test
His impressive form continued into 2003 where he scored two tries in Australia’s 48-6 thrashing of the Kiwis where he sustained a potentially career-ending neck injury only two years into his first grade career. The aid of a special neck brace allowed this Queensland champion to not just continue playing against all odds, but to excel as a rugby league icon over an incredible 13-year professional career.
Tate suffered further injuries ruling him out of the 2005 State of Origin series and again at the start of the 2006 NRL season. He shocked the world of Origin with his guts and determination by returning in State of Origin in Game I, 2006. Game III of that series saw Tate score a crucial try that started a comeback for the Maroons. The team eventually won the game and series, while Tate himself was named man of the match, cementing his status as a Queensland Origin legend. Following his Origin comeback, Tate also proved himself at club level as an integral part of the Broncos 2006 grand final win and being again rewarded with national selection.
Across to NZ
After announcing he would be joining the Warriors to play his preferred position of centre after the conclusion of the 2007 season, Tate sustained a season-ending knee injury during State of Origin Game III. If we’ve learnt anything about Brent Tate by now, it’s that this isn’t the story of a quitter, with him returning in the 2008 season with the Warriors.
Not a quitter
AAdditional sustained injuries in 2009 saw his season end after just three rounds. It was then announced that Tate would return to his home state with the Cowboys in 2011 to the delight of many Queenslanders. Although due to an ACL injury in the Four Nations final and third knee construction of his career, many were unsure if he would continue playing. Reminding us again what real determination looks like, Tate was back and in form for the Cowboys, in Round 19 of the 2011 season.
Tate continued to excel at club, state and national levels until another ACL injury during State of Origin Game II, 2014 forced him to retire upon medical advice. He left the playing field as a legend, inspiration and perfect exemplification of what it means to wear the Maroon jersey.
Brent Tate is an ambassador of the game and the embodiment of the guts and glory of a true Queensland champion.