Reds primed for new season - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Reds primed for new season

Jim Morton 02/02/2011 06:48:48 PM Comments (0)

Journeyman forward Adam Wallace-Harrison will be kept on ice for a mid-season Super Rugby return for Queensland in the only blot on the Reds' pre-season copybook.

Lock-flanker Wallace-Harrison, 31, will miss close to the first half of the season after returning to Brisbane last month from a three-year Japanese stint with a delicate wrist ligament injury.

Imminent surgery to correct the problem will leave the 200cm former Brumby the only Reds player unavailable for Queensland's opening-round clash with the Western Force on February 20.

It's almost unheard of for a professional football team to start the season without anyone on the sidelines and the Reds have used their good fortune and impressive depth in lineout targets to ensure their new recruit will be 100 per cent midway through an extended competition.

Wallace-Harrison - competing against the likes of James Horwill, Rob Simmons, Van Humphries and Radike Samo for game time - could have even played against the Brumbies in Darwin on Friday night.

But coach Ewen McKenzie figured surgery was the best option for the man who first debuted for Queensland in 2003.

"We decided we'd get it sorted now rather than later," he told AAP.

"As we've got everyone on deck we figure it's an injury that's better attended to and if we do it now he will be a useful guy to have come on line later on when we might have taken some damage.

"It's a calculated decision really and he's the only one who's not available."

Fringe Wallabies backs Anthony Faingaa and Peter Hynes are the only other full squad members to miss out on trial time, but McKenzie is supremely confident they will be fit for the season-opener at Suncorp Stadium.

He is being cautious with both, preferring not to risk centre Faingaa's quad strain and fullback Hynes' chronic knee problem, allowing opportunities for Ben Tapuai at No.12 and Luke Morahan at 15 against the Brumbies.

McKenzie remains open-minded about the prospect of an internal trial to help decide final positions, but indicated Faingaa and Hynes could start against the Force without pre-season match time.

"Anthony has done nothing wrong for us in my time here and Hynesy as well so you have to respect that," McKenzie said.

Following the impressive returns of captain Horwill (knee), Digby Ioane (shoulder) and Will Chambers (shoulder) in the 42-15 win over the Crusaders in Cairns, young back-rowers Jake Schatz (foot) and Ed Quirk (knee) will make their comebacks from surgery in Darwin.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2024 AAP

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