Captains announced for 2022 PBR Australia Origin tournament

By: Kacie Albert

Ahead of the PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Australia Origin 2022 tournament, the organization announced that the four-time defending champion PBR Australia Aaron Kleier (Clermont, Queensland) and 2016 Australian PBR Champion Cody Heffernan (Singleton, New South Wales) will captain Team Queensland and Team New South Wales respectively.

PBR Australia held its first Origin event in 2019 when Team Queensland (682.5 points) beat Team New South Wales (428.5 points) inside the ICC Theater in Sydney. In 2021, the hugely popular event returned, expanding into a three-stage series of events, with Team Queensland once again emerging as the most dominant bull state, sweeping away rivals New Wales. South in both Origin I – Brisbane and Origin II – Cairns.

Again a three leg series on the tour, the PBR Origin is modeled after the State of Origin Rugby League event which is considered to be the biggest rivalry in Australian sport.

Through a trio of events held on March 26 in Newcastle, New South Wales, April 23 in Tamworth, New South Wales, and May 21 in Brisbane, Queensland, Team Queensland and team New South Wales will compete to determine which state is the supreme bull riding power.

“I’m looking forward to riding as a team with the Queensland boys and representing our state with them. To put on this brown jersey is truly an honour,” said Queensland team captain Kleier. “Because bull riding is such an individual sport, it’s good to have the chance to ride together as a team. It just has an exciting and different feel to any other event.

“It’s an absolute honor to be selected as captain and to lead the charge with the boys,” said New South Wales captain Heffernan. “I look forward to the atmosphere created by Origin events. We rarely ride in a team format, and there is no better team competition in Australia than New South Wales v Queensland.

Kleier was an integral part of the victorious Queensland squad for both the inaugural PBR Origin event in 2019 and the state’s final win in 2021.

In 2019, including his 86-point run on Break the house (Dunne Bulls/BSA) in the championship round, the Clermont native added 167.5 points to the Maroons’ winning total. In the latest iteration of the PBR Origin tournament, he went a combined 4 for 6 to help Team Queensland sweep Team New South Wales in back-to-back events.

The 24-year-old will once again captain Team Queensland after making history in 2021, becoming the first driver to win the PBR Australia Championship in four consecutive seasons. He also attached david kennedy (Kyogle, New South Wales) for most Australian national titles won by a runner in league history. Kennedy topped the national rankings in 2009-2010, 2012 and 2014.

Heffernan also participated in both iterations of the PBR Origin; however, the 2022 tournament will mark his first as the New South Wales team captain. After being shut out in 2019, Heffernan bounced back in 2021, adding two scores to the Blues’ resilient effort to defeat Queensland.

Tickets for PBR Origin I – Newcastle at Newcastle Entertainment Centre, PBR Origin II – Tamworth at AELEC Arena and PBR Origin III – Brisbane at Brisbane Entertainment Center are on sale now and can be purchased at pbraustralia.com.au.

Each stage of the PBR Origin 2022 tournament will consist of three rounds of competition. After each of the 10 bull riders competing for both teams has attempted a bull each in rounds 1 and 2, the top 4 riders from each team will advance to the bonus round for a final. The winner of the event will be the team with the highest combined score in the entire event.

All future PBR Australia events are subject to change, planned in accordance with guidance issued by relevant government and health authorities in light of changing regulations during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

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