Chambers code switch hits snag - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Chambers code switch hits snag

By Laine Clark 21/01/2010 08:56:00 PM Comments (0)

Injury has stalled convert Will Chambers' much-anticipated rugby union debut for the Queensland Reds.

After being forced to sit out Reds training on Thursday with a strained back muscle, Chambers was ruled out of Queensland's opening trial against arch rivals NSW Waratahs in Lismore on Saturday night.

But Reds coach Ewen McKenzie said the Melbourne Storm NRL premiership winner had simply been rested from the match and was expected to play next week.

"It's purely a precaution with a tough season ahead, but we expect him to be right for the following week's trial against the Crusaders at Ballymore (next Friday)," McKenzie said.

The new Reds coach - in his first season since taking over from Phil Mooney - did receive some good news on the injury front.

Young lock Rob Simmons has recovered from an ankle injury and is fit to join the squad for the Lismore trial.

"Rob came back a bit quicker than we'd expected so he'll fill the vacancy left by Will's withdrawal," McKenzie said.

"Will had been due to play the back half of the trial so we'll decide on the night how we handle that and Simmo's game time."

McKenzie said an extra player would not be added to cover Chambers' withdrawal for the NSW clash.

All eyes will be on McKenzie as he leads Queensland against the side he once successfully coached.

There will be no direct replacement for Chambers so the already expanded squad will stay at 30.

He takes over the reins of a Reds team that has not finished higher than third-last in the past four seasons.

But McKenzie did not sounded daunted by the task ahead, predicting a "quantum leap" for Queensland.

"Change happens every year, if you run the same program you are always going backwards," he said.

"We have talked about where we have been and where we need to get to.

"We understand that the rest of the competition is trying to improve also so you do have to make a quantum leap.

"So you have to change some pretty serious things.

"You can't change personalities but you can certainly change attitudes and skills, working out what you are good at and focusing on that."

The Reds will leave for Lismore on Friday.

Reds starting side v NSW: Luke Morahan, Brando Va'aulu, Morgan Turinui, Anthony Faingaa, Dominic Shipperley, Ben Lucas, Richard Kingi, Scott Higginbotham, Lei Tomiki, Jake Schatz, Van Humphries, Adam Byrnes, Jack Kennedy, Saia Faingaa, Ben Daley (capt). Replacements: Michael Bond, Blair Connor, Rod Davies, James Hanson, Jono Lance, Dallan Murphy, Andrew Shaw, Rob Simmons, James Slipper, Ben Tapuai, Ezra Taylor, Heath Tessman, Aidan Toua, Tim Walsh, Laurie Weeks.

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