Qld Reds' Davies hopes to emulate Ioane - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Qld Reds' Davies hopes to emulate Ioane

By Jim Morton 15/02/2010 08:08:27 PM Comments (0)

Shock Reds selection Rod Davies hopes to save his young Super 14 career by modelling himself on tackle-busting teammate Digby Ioane.

Winger Davies has been watching videos of Ioane, studying his damaging running style and following the Wallabies three-quarter's roving lead to transform himself from the unsure rookie who struggled in 2009.

The 20-year-old flyer, picked ahead of Wallabies tourist Luke Morahan, was impressive in Queensland's painful 30-28 loss to NSW to suggest he'll be retained against the Crusaders on Friday night.

If so, he'll come off his wing and roam around Suncorp Stadium, like Ioane, looking for work and trying to drive his legs through tackles.

"Digby is a really good person to look at to see, especially around the ruck," said Davies, nicknamed Rocket.

"I'm trying to emulate that a bit more, and to go off my wing and look for the ball.

"The (Reds) wingers have got a free rein to do what we want."

A schoolboy star who struggled with injury in two years at the Brisbane Broncos, Davies arrived at Ballymore with a two-year contract and plenty of expectation.

But he failed to impress in five matches in 2009 and knew, as the fourth best winger at best, that 2010 could be his last without a significant turnaround.

"I'm playing with a bit more confidence and starting to get to know the game a bit more," he said.

"I feel I have a lot to prove as last year I didn't deliver and people would have thought I should be a lot better.

"The couple of years at the Broncs I struggled and coming back to union last year I struggled so I had to have a good off-season otherwise I would have been out in the workforce."

Davies learnt a great deal playing under David Nucifora in the Australian Under-20 team which finished fourth at the Junior World Cup in Japan and has continued to improve his positional play under Ewen McKenzie and Reds backs coach Jim McKay.

"He's one guy who's really knuckled down and focussed on correcting perceived weaknesses and that's why he's on the team," McKenzie said. "He's an example of the progress being made.

"He's the fastest guy in the squad and that obviously helps too."

Hooker Sean Hardman remains in doubt for the Crusaders clash due to an ankle injury but the Reds are hanging on to hope of positive scan results.

The Crusaders won't have All Black hooker Cory Flynn back from his own ankle injury but Test prop Wyatt Crockett and centre Ryan Crotty are set to return after missing the 32-17 win over the Highlanders.

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