Reds leaders welcome fans expectations - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Reds leaders welcome fans expectations

Adrian Warren 08/02/2011 07:05:10 PM Comments (0)

Queensland Reds have taken the unusual but refreshing attitude of welcoming the public's higher expectations, as they strive to end a decade-long absence from Super rugby finals.

The Reds last made the playoffs back in 2001 and spent most of the second half of the last decade entrenched in the bottom three on the ladder.

They came within a whisker of making the 2010 finals after electrifying the competition with an expansive brand of rugby, championed by new coach Ewen McKenzie.

Most coaches and captains would normally try to hose down growing public expectations, but McKenzie and his captain James Horwill have embraced that sentiment.

"I'm happy with people having higher expectations of us, it's a much better space to be in than running around the bottom of the competition, we will take anytime," McKenzie told AAP at the Super season launch in Sydney on Tuesday.

"If people have high expectations that's fine, we will just have to try and meet them.

"But rest assured our internal expectations have been more demanding than those externally."

Lock Horwill, who missed almost all of last season after suffering a knee injury in the opening round of the 2010 Super tournament, was equally comfortable with the higher expectations of his exciting young team.

"We welcome that and it's something you've got to enjoy, you'd much rather have high expectations than low," Horwill said.

He said he was still a little underdone following the two trials, but was feeling good and had enjoyed spending some time at blindside flanker.

Queensland entered the new campaign full of confidence after two strong trial performances.

The Reds scored a convincing 42-15 win over perennial Super rugby contender the Crusaders in Cairns and then brushed aside the Brumbies 38-5 in Darwin.

McKenzie will have almost a full squad of players to choose from for the Reds opening round match against the Force, with the exception of lock Adam Wallace-Harrison, who is recovering from a wrist injury.

McKenzie said he was quietly confident about the prospects of a Queensland side, several of whose forwards graduated to Test level last year.

Wallabies halves Will Genia and Quade Cooper will continue to orchestrate a talented backline in which the dangerous Digby Ioane and Rod Davies are ready to fire again after injury problems last year.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

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