Braid may yet stay with Qld Reds - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Braid may yet stay with Qld Reds

By Jim Morton 22/04/2009 05:21:49 PM Comments (0)

The battling Queensland Reds may yet retain All Black Daniel Braid after the marquee flanker's deal with Welsh club Llanelli Scarlets hit an injury-induced snag.

Braid's recently-signed three-year Scarlets contract is in limbo due to a ruptured Achilles needing a six-month rehabilitation to get back on the field.

Braid underwent surgery this week after sustaining the injury in the first half of Queensland's forgettable 31-20 loss to the Lions on Saturday night, the same time his new deal was announced.

Llanelli coach Nigel Davies has indicated the contract may be cancelled as the club doesn't want to sign any new player who will miss the opening two months on the Magners League season.

"That's certainly what we don't want to do," Davies said.

"Things are pretty tight and we are not in a position to do that.

"There is provision [in his contract] with regards to a medical test and we will speak to him and his agent over the next couple of days."

Despite now being back in the picture to retain their key ball-pilferer, Reds high-performance manager Ben Whitaker "sincerely" hoped Braid could still take up his lucrative deal and said he was well down the track looking for a replacement.

Wallabies and Western Force backrower Richard Brown is at the top of the Reds recruitment list but they would be keen to have Braid back if the door shuts on his expected move to the UK.

"I haven't spoken to Daniel since he's had his surgery and haven't even considered that," Whitaker said.

The news comes as Reds coach Phil Mooney resisted the urge to wield the axe before Saturday's Super 14 clash with Braid's old team, the Blues, at North Harbour Stadium.

Mooney has made three injury-related changes to his young team which fell to a fourth straight defeat at Suncorp Stadium.

Erratic playmaker Quade Cooper has kept his No.10 jersey after the coach seriously considered shifting Berrick Barnes into first receiver to ensure more structure to their loose and risky attack.

"I've said it all along we've made an investment in these guys and I'm here to develop them," Mooney said.

"Quade's one of the investments we've made.

"It's very easy to sit there and throw a lot of blame on him. But the reality is we're not losing games because of Quade Cooper. He's an element to it but there's other elements to it."

Tasi Luafutu replaces Braid while teenager Luke Morahan will make his run-on debut against the fifth-placed Blues in place of Wallabies winger Peter Hynes (knee).

Veteran lock Van Humphries returns from shoulder and thigh injuries forcing Adam Byrnes back to the bench and Leroy Houston out of the 22.

The Blues have their own troubles with winger Rene Ranger stood down after being investigated for an alleged assault in a late-night street brawl in Auckland.

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