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Norths Devils: Cup gains and losses for 2024

Julian Christian thrives when he is surrounded by a strong support system.

Whether it is his family in Cairns or his daughters in Brisbane, the 26-year-old knows he is his happiest when close to the right people – and when he’s at his happiest, he’s playing his best footy.

Which should make for an interesting combination this year in his first season with Norths Devils.

Gunning for the No.1 jersey left vacant by retired veteran, Jack Ahearn, Christian knows something special is building at Bishop Park, particularly through the potential spine.

One of the main reasons Christian came to Norths was the presence of good friend and star rake, Kierran Moseley, and the signing of his former teammate and playmaker, Gerome Burns – who has spent the majority of pre-season with the NRL Dolphins on a train-and-trial.

Julian Christian. Photo: Christian Simms/Norths Devils
Julian Christian. Photo: Christian Simms/Norths Devils

“This is my eighth year in Cup and I’ve had a lot of mates come through Norths and not once have I ever heard a bad thing about the club,” Christian said.

“I’ve always liked the culture, the club, and I still have really close mates like Kierran Moseley and Jayden Stephens here.

“I ended up telling them I was thinking of moving back down because my girls are still here. Kierran gave me (coach) Dave Elliott’s number and we ended up setting up a meeting and it went better than I could have imagined.

“Before I knew it, I was packing up my stuff in Cairns and moving down.

“One of the things that got me to the club was knowing Kierran was here and Gerome was coming too. Me and Gerome, we actually live together now.

“We’ve been mates since we were 14-years-old. We first played together in the Queensland Murris… we versed each a lot as well and we were halves partners in the Broncos Under 20s. Now we’re back together for Norths.

“We even have the same birthday – January 13th, 1998. We’re really close.

“He’s started training with us now (after his Dolphins train-and-trial). We just say every night as we get home, ‘I can’t wait to actually play together again'.

“He’s looking very healthy, he’s put on a bit of muscle, he’s looking really good, real sharp… I can’t wait to see what’s ahead for him as well after his pre-season in the NRL.

“Then me and Kierran… as a young fella coming straight from under 20s into Cup at Jets, he taught me a lot of things as I got older and my game needed to mature.

“I give a lot of thanks to Kieran and we’re still very, very close. A lot of people can’t wait to see what this year looks like for the spine of Norths… we’re all competing for it.”

Outside of Moseley and Burns, Norths have a lot of depth in their spine positions, also picking up the likes of outside back Jordan Lipp and half Jack Wright, while young playmaker Hayden Rowbotham will also push for more time in Cup after making his debut last year.

Gerome Burns in Dolphins pre-season. Photo: Supplied
Gerome Burns in Dolphins pre-season. Photo: Supplied

Coach Dave Elliott has also recruited strongly in other positions, with Eddie Blacker, Jack ‘Nugget’ Johnson and Justin Fai among those adding punch to the forward pack.

Christian can see a lot of potential around the squad, but it’s not just the on-field connections that he finds appealing about returning to the southeast corner.

Before joining the Northern Pride in 2022, Christian – who last year enjoyed a North Queensland Cowboys pre-season - played five seasons with Ipswich Jets following his time with the Brisbane Broncos in their under 20s system.

During his time in the southeast, he had two daughters, who still live in Brisbane and now he gets to see them more regularly.

“I was always had the idea that if I wasn’t going to stay at the Cowboys (through the Northern Pride), then I was always going to come back down to Brisbane because my two daughters live down here in Brisbane,” he said.

“It was very tough being away from my daughters but when I signed with the Pride, I was heading back home (to Cairns) to where all my family were.

“I had to move away in grade 10 to go to Kirwan (State High School in Townsville) and then I went to the Broncos and then Jets… I was constantly on the go and before I knew it, a good five or six years had passed.

“It was good to see everyone but it’s good to be back with my girls and seeing them more often. I am really happy. The last time I was this happy, I was playing my best footy.”

Between his families, his friends and his teammates, Christian realises how important it is for him to feel well supported.

He has quickly connected with Devils coach Elliott and hopes the bonds he is building at Norths – and his time with his daughters – will put him in good stead for a strong 2024.

“I didn’t realise as a young fella… I thought everything was about winning football games and making rep teams,” he said.

“As I’ve gotten older, I always say now, ‘if you’re happy off the field, you usually play good on the field.’

“The footy takes care of itself. You have stuff sorted at home and work life and everything off the field is going good.

“This year, outside of getting back to an NRL system, it’s my eighth year in Cup, so I’m really looking to get a premiership under my belt.

“Norths are no strangers to winning premierships so that’s one of my major goals and one of the team’s goals.”

Main image: Julian Christian in a Norths trial. Photo: Max Ellis/Norths Devils

Norths Devils 2024 gains and losses


Eddie Blacker (Penrith Panthers), Gerome Burns (Ipswich Jets), Julian Christian (Northern Pride), Campbell Duffy (Sunshine Coast Falcons), Justin Fai (Souths Logan Magpies), Cooper Jenkins (Newcastle Knights), Jack 'Nugget' Johnson (Townsville Blackhawks), Jordan Lipp (Western Clydesdales), Andre Niko (Canberra), Blake Paskins (Mackay Cutters), Luke Pietzner (Newcastle Knights), Wyatt Reynolds (Sunshine Coast Falcons), Tuki Simpkins (Wests Tigers), Jack Wright (Sunshine Coast Falcons) 


Jack Ahearn (retired), Connor Broadhurst (Wynnum Manly Seagulls), Jared Chambers (Ipswich Jets), Kyle Coghill (Ipswich Jets), Blayden Dodd (released), Bryce Donovan (Wynnum Manly Seagulls), Max Elliott (medically retired), Bernard Gregorius (retired), Liam Horne (UK Super League), Kahli Junior Kali (Ipswich Jets), Sam Lavea (Souths Logan Magpies), Moses Noovao-McGreal (Easts Tigers), Viko Puliuvea (Newcastle), Jonathon Reuben (Wynnum Manly Seagulls), Tony Tumusa (Wynnum Manly Seagulls), Tauaalo Vaipulu (Redcliffe)

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Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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