Queensland Reds to tour Ireland - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Queensland Reds to tour Ireland

18/07/2008 12:02:37 PM Comments (0)

The Queensland Reds will begin preparations for the 2009 Super 14 early with a four-match development tour of Ireland in August-September.

Reds coach Phil Mooney will take a 26-man squad two days after the Brisbane club grand final and play matches against Ulster, Connacht, Leinster and Munster A.

The tour fills the void left by the Australian Rugby Union's decision to scrap the provincial ARC competition which ran from August to October last year.

Queensland Rugby Union high-performance manager Ben Whitaker said the Irish trip was crucial in preparing non-Test players and new recruits for the Super 14.

"The younger Queensland players especially will learn a lot from this tour, as the Irish provinces will be gearing up for the European championship season and want some hard matches to fine tune their own combinations," Whitaker said.

"The Irish clubs are pretty excited about us touring there."

Queensland's squad will include 2009 contracted Reds not involved with the Wallabies, QAS Reds Academy players and possibly some uncontracted club players.

"It will be a chance for our coaching staff to take a closer look at how the newer players and combinations work in games, without having to do it during the cut-throat Super 14 competition," Whitaker said.

The tour will start on August 19 and finish on September 4.

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