You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
Harrison Leonard.

Harrison Leonard feels like he never left Rockhampton.

The New South Wales born forward was originally a Balmain junior and was playing in the Ron Massey Cup with the West Magpies when former Central Queensland Capras coach David Faiumu reached out to bring him north in season 2020.

His first two seasons there were rocky, particularly with COVID-19 bringing an end to his first year in the region.

But by 2022, with Lionel Harbin now at the helm of the Capras, Leonard started to find his feet at the Capras.

He only left to finish his university degree in exercise science - and is now doing a Master in Teaching – in Sydney, before signing with the Western Clydesdales for the 2023 season.

But he never lost contact with Harbin and Capras captain Jack Madden. And that has paid dividends for season 2024.

Harrison Leonard.
Harrison Leonard.

“I’m really excited about coming back,” Leonard said.

“I stayed in touch with Lionel and Jack Madden and it was always on the cards.

“At first it was just phone calls with Lionel and Jack to see how I was going. Then they brought up the prospect of me moving back to the Capras.

“I really enjoyed my time with the Clydesdales and (coach) Jason (Alchin) but the prospect of moving back was too good. It was an easy decision.

“I wouldn’t say they roped me back in but I was excited about prospect of the Capras, especially after they got so close to the grand final last year.

“It feels like I haven’t left. There’s core players still here with Lachlan Hubner, the Moore boys (Blake and Aaron), Trey Brown, Jack Madden.”

Leonard’s return comes at a crucial time for the Capras, who have lost a lot of experience from their forward pack.

Prop Bailey Butler has joined the Burleigh Bears for season 2024, alongside Tyler Szepanowski, while Nixon Putt went to the Super League with Castleford and Nicholas Halalilo headed north to Townsville Blackhawks.

There is still plenty of experience in the Capras pack, with Hubner, Brown and Zev John while Larson Dale-Doyle will move from centre to the second row.

Former Colts captain Ilami Buli has been named to partner Leonard in the starting front row after playing five Cup games last season.

For Leonard, the pack is coming together well to fill the gaps left behind.

“It’s really exciting. There are a lot of young boys filling in,” he said.

“It’s exciting for us as a forward pack… it’s a very important role setting the platform for the team.

“It’s a pack approach. Everyone having another year of experience is very instrumental and filling that void is an added responsibility but it’s exciting one.

“Lachlan Hubner in particular has been really good for us and brought a lot back from his pre-season with the NRL Dolphins.

“I know I’m trying to really step up my game this year. It’s exciting.”

The team are also buoyed by the continued coaching of Harbin, who has inspired their finals runs the past two seasons.

When those calls were coming in from Harbin and Madden, trying to entice Leonard to return, he knew all along that both men were major drawcards for him.

“He’s just a really good bloke,” Leonard said.

“He’s very intelligent and explains things really well… he makes it simple, what my role is.

“He has a good relationship with all the boys. It’s very clear communication and it gives you a lot of confidence as a player.”

Now, as they turn their attention to the Round 1 clash with Leonard’s former team in the Clydesdales, the 25-year-old is determined to help the Capras go one better this year.

In 2023, they made it to the preliminary finals for the first time since 2009 but fell short against eventual premiers, Brisbane Tigers.

And Leonard said their goal this year was to be there on grand final day.

“As a team, one better than last year,” Leonard said of their goals.

“Make the big dance, turn up week, in week out and represent the region. We want to be competitive in everything we do.”

Central Queensland Capras 2024 gains and losses


Lucas Bell (Sunshine Coast Falcons), Rylee Captein (West Australia Rugby League), Kazzi Doyle (Norths Chargers), Jaylen Grey (West Australia Rugby League), Jesse Jennings (Souths Logan Magpies), Harrison Leonard (Western Clydesdales), Connor Rothery (Rockhampton Brothers), Isaiah Vailalo (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Khaiya Waeimbi (Hela Wigmen - PNG)


Bailey Butler (Burleigh Bears), Nick Halalilo (Townsville Blackhawks), Mitch Leard-Lamont (Western Clydesdales), Thallon Peters (Sunshine Coast Falcons), Nixon Putt (Castleford Tigers), Tyler Szepanowski (Burleigh Bears)

Acknowledgement of Country

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.

Platinum Partners

View All Partners