Reds happy to see Braid turn to Japan - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Reds happy to see Braid turn to Japan

By Jim Morton 26/02/2009 08:24:38 PM Comments (0)

Queensland will do almost anything to keep marquee import Daniel Braid at Ballymore for the 2010 Super 14 - even allow him to spend his off-season playing in Japan.

While the NRL has gone on a war-footing to prevent league stars heading to Japanese rugby, the Reds are virtually encouraging Braid to play back-to-back competitions.

Queensland officials have raised the `Benji Marshall' suggestion with the former All Black flanker as he weighs up whether to take up an option midway through his two-year deal.

Braid, who has fielded interest from big-spending European and Japanese clubs, has to decide by the end of March whether he'll stay with the Reds for a second Super 14 season.

The inspirational 27-year-old has quickly become a precious commodity for Queensland, captaining them in the second half of last weekend's stirring fightback in their gallant 27-24 loss to the Stormers and also an off-field general and part-time skills coach.

Coach Phil Mooney admitted the Reds were desperate to keep Braid, who they always knew was keen to see the world with fiancee Astrid when he signed on as Australian rugby's first international import.

"He's made it clear to us that he's loving his time here but also he's pursuing that option," Mooney told AAP.

"We know he's got ambitions to do other things, and if he could do Japan and here next season concurrently that would be great if that fits his plans.

"We'd be prepared to work around him because he's been so good for us."

Unlike the NRL's knockback of off-contract Wests Tigers playmaker Marshall's desire to play a single season in Japan, Mooney had few worries about Braid immediately backing up from the low-intensity competition.

"Worst-case scenario, if he went to Japan and his team made the finals we'd miss him for three games," he said.

"Having Daniel Braid for a second season for 10 games is better than not having him at all."

Braid's looming decision makes the next month of rugby doubly important for the Reds, who are sitting on the bottom of the table after two opening losses in South Africa.

But the five-Test openside indicated the decision would be made as much for lifestyle reasons as rugby.

"I'm having a great time here and I'm enjoying the team, they have a lot of potential," Braid said.

"It's a long-term lifestyle thing about what's best for us and what we want to do but we are enjoying our time in Brisbane.

"We're still totally undecided what I'm doing. My first focus is playing well for the Reds and making sure we start winning some games."

Braid (ankle) is one of four players with skipper Berrick Barnes (quad), winger Peter Hynes (knee) and hooker Sean Hardman (ankle) to have shrugged off a nagging injury to be selected for Sunday's home match against the Cheetahs.

Queensland: Mark McLinden, Brando Va'aulu, Digby Ioane, Berrick Barnes (capt), Peter Hynes, Quade Cooper, Ben Lucas; Leroy Houston, Daniel Braid, Scott Higginbotham, Hugh McMeniman, Van Humphries, Laurie Weeks, Sean Hardman, Greg Holmes. Res: Saia Faingaa, Dayna Edwards, Adam Byrnes, Tasi Luafutu, Will Genia, Anthony Faingaa, Blair Connor.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 AAP

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