Braid still has a 'big role' at Reds - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Braid still has a 'big role' at Reds

20/04/2009 03:15:43 PM Comments (0)

A ruptured Achilles may have abruptly ended Daniel Braid's playing stint at the Reds but Queensland coach Phil Mooney still believes the All Blacks flanker can help lift his battling Super 14 side.

They will need all the help they can get before lining up against the star-studded Blues at Auckland on Saturday.

The Reds reached their lowest ebb in a morale sapping season when they plunged to their fourth straight loss - a 31-20 defeat at the hands of the lowly Lions that Mooney described as "disgraceful".

Braid faces a six month rehabilitation after undergoing surgery on Sunday, ending his Reds season and cutting into the start of a new three-year deal with the Llanelli Scarlets in Wales.

However, Mooney believes marquee signing Braid's influence - particularly on his young replacement Poutasi Luafutu - would aid the Reds' recovery.

"The minimum recovery time is six months so it's a disappointing injury for us and particularly for Daniel," Mooney said of Braid.

"I haven't spoken to him since the surgery, but I'm sure he's still got a big role to play here."

Junior World Cup 2008 selection Luafutu, 21, had "developed significantly" this season after being taken under Braid's wing.

"He (Luafutu) is itching for an opportunity and it looks as though he'll get it," Mooney said.

"He's not your traditional openside (flanker), but he's physical and very competitive.

"It'll also be good to have a new guy in the team because with that you get a different dynamic and energy."

Luafutu made his Reds debut last season, replacing Queensland legend David Croft.

Mooney will make a decision on winger Peter Hynes (knee) "later in the week".

If unavailable, Hynes looks set to be replaced by Australian Sevens representative Luke Morahan.

The 19-year-old - who scored 27 tries on this season's IRB Sevens World Series circuit - made his Reds debut after Hynes went down in the second half against the Lions.

Mooney appeared to have taken a few deep breaths since his post-match blast last Saturday night.

"Whatever words you used to describe it (the weekend loss), it wasn't a performance we were proud of," he said.

"We go and play the Blues in Auckland on Saturday and they're a very good side, so we've got to come up with solutions for this weekend."

Mooney will announce his side on Wednesday before the team travels to Auckland on Thursday.

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