Queanbeyan fullback Tom Ruediger back in rugby after four-year hiatus

He's a self-confessed journeyman but Queanbeyan Whites fullback Tom Ruediger says he simply plays his footy where he has the most fun.

Ruediger, who has played in the John I Dent Cup with Tuggeranong, Wests and Queanbeyan, did a preseason with the ACT Brumbies and spent time with the Australian Sevens squad.

And that's just his union career.

Queanbeyan Whites fullback Tom Ruediger has played union, league and sevens over the past five years.

Queanbeyan Whites fullback Tom Ruediger has played union, league and sevens over the past five years.

Ruediger played league with the Queanbeyan Blues before earning a contract at the Newcastle Thunder in the United Kingdom third-tier.

The 27-year-old was set to play a second season with the Thunder but gave it a miss after he "enjoyed being home too much".

Ruediger's housemate, ACT Schoolboys and Queanbeyan colts coach Dan Hawke, was the man who convinced him to return to union this season.

"He’s an absolute freak, lightning quick, awesome step, very agile and for someone his size [80kgs and 175cm] he runs very hard," Hawke said.

"Tommy is super relaxed, he missed preseason so he started this season in third grade, fought his way into second grade and then into first grade.

"He did the right thing and came up through the grades because nobody had seen him play for four or five years, but he was carving up thirds and seconds.

"In our first game against Easts, he got three points [man of the match] in second grade, came on just after half time in time in first grade and turned the game and got another three points."

Ruediger fell off the Brumbies radar when he "destroyed" his ankle, rupturing his syndesmosis and fracturing his tibia and fibia.

The speedster worked his way back into form and trained with the Australian Sevens squad but Ruediger was axed on the eve of their Word Rugby Sevens season.

"I didn't make the cut and then I sort of gave it away, I was disappointed and a bit over footy," Ruediger said.

"Then my mates said come play league so I did that for a bit and played overseas in Newcastle which was a good experience.

"The culture is different, the way the game is played is different. Definitely more physical and slower, it's a forwards-based mentality.

"I was signed to go back over but I came back and just enjoyed home too much. I played league again last year but wasn't really into it.

"Then I got that itch again this year and came back to rugby with the Whites and I've really enjoyed it.

"I guess I’m not the loyalist bloke, I just play with my mates but I've got mates at every club."

Queanbeyan host Easts this week in a battle for fourth spot, with a rejuvenated Easts outfit are looking to play finals for the first time in a decade.

The Whites won their clash earlier this season 29-20, the day Ruediger collected man of the match honours in two grades.

"It’s not the make or break but it’s definitely a game we have to win and want to win heading into the finals," Ruediger said.

"Then we’ve got Royals the next week which is another big test, if we can get two scalps heading into finals it will be a big moral boost for the boys."


Saturday: Queanbeyan Whites v Easts at David Campese Field, 3:05pm.

Saturday: Uni-Norths Owls v Royals at ANU North Oval, 3:05pm.

Saturday: Tuggeranong Vikings v Wests at Viking Park, 3:25pm.

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