Reds get 12 in Wallabies squad - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Reds get 12 in Wallabies squad

By Wayne Heming 14/10/2010 07:25:20 PM Comments (0)

Elated officials were celebrating a red letter day for Queensland rugby after 12 players were selected in the 36-man Wallabies squad for the upcoming five-Test spring tour of Hong Kong and Europe.

It is the biggest representation for a Queensland side for the end of season tour since the Western Force entered the Super 14 in 2006, when Australia went from having three to four teams in the competition.

Under new coach Ewen McKenzie Queensland rugby has enjoyed a rapid resurgence both on and off the field following years in the doldrums.

The 12 Reds players selected were Quade Cooper, Rod Davies, Ben Daley, Anthony and Saia Faingaa, Will Genia, Scott Higginbotham, Peter Hynes, Van Humphries, Luke Morahan, Rob Simmons and James Slipper.

McKenzie said while it was pleasing for Reds players to get the acknowledgment, the Queenslanders still had plenty to do next year.

"Nothing has changed in terms of our ambitions but the reality is, you still have to make it happen and we can't do anything about that until next year," McKenzie said.

"We've got a new competition to play in (2011) which is exciting but you have to get it right week-in and week-out.

"We're here to create Wallabies, that's what our business is about, converting players to that level.

"It's a congested sporting market and you want to have players in your team that people know and who've played at the highest level.

"There's no bad news from today."

To provide the most number of players of any Australian province is a rap for the former NSW and Australian prop who arrived at the Reds last year when they had a handful of Wallabies and were struggling to be competitive in the Super 14.

"It's certainly an enjoyable place to be now, but a lot of people are making that happen," he said.

"It's a good time for rugby and Queensland at the moment and there's better times ahead I'm sure.

"When I arrived it was bleak but that's turned around quickly which has been impressive and I'm talking about rugby as a code, not just the Reds.

"I think it's pretty exciting times and a great time to be involved.

McKenzie said the players had been rewarded for their hard work this year.

"When you consider that James Horwill, Digby Ioane and Will Chambers are recuperating, and you have rising stars like Liam Gill and Kimami Sitauti who've been allowed to focus on the Reds pre-season, you begin to realise we've got a squad with great prospects for 2011," said McKenzie.

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