Turinui an injury worry for Reds - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Turinui an injury worry for Reds

By Jim Morton 01/02/2009 04:53:36 PM Comments (0)

Former Wallabies vice-captain Morgan Turinui is under a worrying injury cloud heading toward Queensland's Super 14 campaign start in South Africa.

Outside centre Turinui is in serious doubt for the Reds' final trial match against the Western Force at Ballymore on Thursday night after aggravating a lingering shoulder problem against the Blues in Auckland.

The 20-Test back copped a heavy blow to the joint in the opening skirmishes of Friday night's 26-24 trial loss.

It follows a long period of rehab on the shoulder after injuring it in Queensland's four-match tour of Europe last August.

Reds coach Phil Mooney said there would be more clarity on the injury on Monday, a day before he names his strongest possible side to play the Force.

Wallabies inside centre Berrick Barnes will return from a knee injury to captain Queensland for the first time in the final warm-up match and Mooney is keen to have Turinui in the centres beside him.

"Our preference would be to play him because Berrick would be right for this trial and we want to get our No.1 backline out there, or our centres at the very least," the coach said on Sunday.

"It's almost like a dead arm and that's what's happened to him, he's got hit right on the point of his shoulder in the first five minutes of the game."

Brando Va'aulu played out the Auckland match at outside centre and looms as a possible replacement along with Charlie Fetoai, who is sure to get some game time at No.13 against the Force.

The Reds start their Super 14 campaign with tough clashes against the Bulls in Pretoria (February 14) and the Stormers in Cape Town (February 20) and would dearly love to have all of Turinui's 71 Super caps of experience on board.

In his debut for Queensland, former All Black Daniel Braid was a stand-out for the Reds in his 40 minutes against the Blues as he helped set up two first half tries.

Mooney was also impressed by maturing five-eighth Quade Cooper and halfback Will Genia who is pressuring Ben Lucas for the No.9 jersey.

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