Rotation on the menu for Qld Reds - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Rotation on the menu for Qld Reds

By Jim Morton 01/09/2010 02:41:30 PM Comments (0)

Queensland Reds coach Ewen McKenzie will attempt to combat an expanded Super 15 with a rotation policy that may extend all the way to dynamic duo Will Genia and Quade Cooper.

Super rugby will grow from 16 weeks to 21 in 2011, including three more home and away matches, and McKenzie believes all teams will find the increase incredibly taxing.

"The main difference would be the load," he said at the launch of Brisbane's Rugby Quay precinct on Wednesday.

"It's just literally longer and we found when we went from Super 12 to Super 14 (in 2006) there was a big difference.

"It was another month of rugby - it doesn't sound like much when you say it but the bodies have to get used to that.

"It means the rotation of players will be a bit more relevant."

McKenzie admitted influential Wallabies halves Genia and Cooper would also be in line for rests.

The pair was pivotal to the Reds' 2010 resurgence as they played all 13 matches together to lead the young side to fifth with a 8-5 record.

Sitting either on the bench sounds unthinkable but McKenzie, with recent experience in the 36-game French program, said it may be a necessary measure to ensure they perform near their peaks for longer.

"I think you take it a week at a time, it depends whether they're carrying injuries and things like that," he said. "Sometimes a rotation happens naturally.

"Particularly if you are going to play a dynamic game with a lot of movement and a lot of running, you have to manage that.

"The only way you can rotate is if you have the quality, if you have the depth in your squad."

That is what McKenzie, who used 37 players in 2010, is trying to strike with just one spot left on his 31-man roster for next season, which kicks off on February 18.

He had hoped dual international Mat Rogers would end the coach's worldwide search for a utility back by making one final switch of codes before the Gold Coast Titan announced his retirement last month.

Australian Under-20s inside back Jono Lance has a gilt-edged opportunity to snare the last contract when he guides University in Sunday's Brisbane premier rugby grand final against the Toutai Kefu-coached Sunshine Coast.

McKenzie has been well impressed with Lance's development in the competition after he failed to grasp the chance to gain a promotion from the Reds Academy early this season.

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