New South Wales squad and Queensland squad announced ahead of PBR Origin I in Newcastle, NSW on March 16

By: Kacie Albert

Ahead of the opening iteration of Australia’s Monster Energy Tour Origin 2022 PBR (Professional Bull Riders) tournament, the organization has announced the full rosters of 10 riders who will represent Team New South Wales and Team New South Wales. Queensland during the state vs. state showdown. .

A three-part series of Monster Energy Tour stages, the PBR Origin is inspired by the State of Origin rugby league event which is considered Australia’s sporting greatest rivalry.

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.

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.

The New South Wales team, which will be managed by the 2016 Australian PBR champions Cody Heffernan (Singleton, New South Wales), will be supplemented by: Will Purcell (Albury, New South Wales), Trefor Sproule (Singleton, New South Wales), Braith’s notch (Bendemeer, New South Wales), Lachlan Richardson (Gresford, New South Wales), Lachlan Slade (Tamworth, New South Wales), Thomas Hudson (Dungog, New South Wales), Oscar Leak (Dungog, New South Wales), Steven Carter (Wards River, New South Wales) and Josh Dallas (Wootton, New South Wales).

The Queensland team will be guided by the reigning four-time Australian champions Aaron Kleier (Clermont, Queensland), the rest of the team being: Kelsey Pavlou (Gracemere, Queensland), Brumby Brandenburg (Clermont, Queensland), Lynn Anderson (Koumala, Queensland), Jake Curr (Mount Isa, Queensland), Michael Smith (Tully, Queensland), Lane Mellers (Mundubbera, Queensland), Caiden Sandilands (Rockampton, Queensland), Dan Ruhland (Mount Walker, Queensland) and Taran Chirgwin (Calliope, Queensland).

While captains were selected earlier in 2022, the aforementioned teams were determined based on standings after the final PBR Australia Monster Energy Tour event in Mildura, Victoria on March 19.

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. The Origin tournament returned in 2021, extending to a series of three-part tour legs, with Team Queensland’s Maroons again beating the New South Wales Blues, this time sweeping them first two events of the tournament.

Among the stars of the Queensland team who will want to defend their title of PBR Origin champions are:

• Kelsey Pavlou will return to the Queensland squad for the second time in his career as the top contender for the 2022 Australian PBR Championship. So far in 2022, Pavlou is ranked No. 95.5 points from the No. 1 position. Pavlou has appeared in all four events of 2022 in Australia, registering three Top 5 efforts, including a season-best finish, a third-place finish in Rockhampton, Queensland.
• Brumby Brandenburg will make his PBR Origin debut fresh off the back of his first career victory at Australia’s latest Monster Energy Tour event in Mildura, Victoria. En route to victory, Brandenburg recorded the first two qualifying runs of his PBR career, covering Cash Money for 83.5 points and Natural Hillbilly for 86.5 points. He earned 75.5 domestic points and catapulted himself to 5th place in the hunt for the 2022 Australian PBR Championship.
• Young gun Qynn Andersen will make his PBR Origin debut at Newcastle when he drives for the Queensland team on March 26. The 18-year-old sensation made his PBR debut in 2021, catching fire towards the end of the campaign, recording three Top-5 finishes en route to qualifying for his maiden career PBR Australia Grand Finals. So far in 2022, Andersen is ranked No. 6 in the PBR Australia Championship race, 137.5 points off of first place.

Eager to win their first PBR Origin Championship, riders of note for Team New South Wales include:

• Seven-time PBR World Final qualifier Lachlan Richardson will bring his veteran experience to the New South Wales roster. Richardson first rolled for the Blues in 2021, a season that ended with him ranked No.6 in the PBR Australia Championship chase. So far in 2022, Richardson has only competed in two events and will seek his first qualifying race next year when he competes for the New South Wales team at New Castle.
• In 2021, Lachlan Slade was electric at the PBR Origin tournament. Although his team may not have won the tournament title, he made history, recording the event’s first-ever 90-point run, and his career, when he teamed up with Cattle King Boogers Beach for a score of 90 points in Cairns, Queensland. After ending 2021 with an 8th place finish at the Australian Grand Final, ranked No. 10 in the country, Slade has only raced once in 2022, competing in Scone, New South Wales.
• Will Purcell will return to the New South Wales squad for the first time since the inaugural PBR Origin in 2019. Having recorded two Top 10 finishes so far in 2022, including a third place in the last stop on the tour in Mildura, Victoria, Purcell is currently ranked No. 7 in the hunt for the season’s PBR Australia Championship.

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.

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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