Benched Chambers' future clouded at Reds - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Benched Chambers' future clouded at Reds

Jim Morton 12/05/2011 04:31:42 PM Comments (0)

Reds coach Ewen McKenzie wants to know Will Chambers' driving ambitions before battling hard to prevent the former Melbourne Storm centre returning to rugby league.

Chambers, a Wallaby in waiting at outside centre last year, is in the sights of NRL clubs after a disappointing second Super Rugby season in 2011.

Since starting the first three matches of the competition, the 100kg powerhouse has managed just one other appearance in the run-on 15, producing a disappointing defensive display in the 28-26 upset loss to the Hurricanes.

At the end of a two-year contract, there've been reports Chambers has been shopped around to league clubs and speculation of a link with the Bulldogs.

McKenzie has had discussions with Chambers' manager Jim Banaghan, but wants to know the Northern Territory product is serious about his future at Ballymore.

"The fact his manager is still talking to league, then that (a return to the NRL) is still in his mind," he told AAP.

"I'm interested to see what's driving him, what's his motivation and what's the most important thing in terms of football.

"I try and sign guys who are desperately passionate to play for the Reds.

"It (Chambers' future) is clouded by the fact he's on the bench and isn't starting, so he's got to get some clarity in his thinking about where he wants to go and what's his ambition."

Chambers was again overlooked for a starting berth against the Blues on Friday night, despite a knee injury to Mike Harris, with Ben Tapuai being preferred at No.12 and Anthony Faingaa continuing at outside centre.

McKenzie has attributed the 22-year-old's struggles to the enhanced contest for the ball at the breakdown, which has put more emphasis on ball playing - passing and kicking - by backs over ball running.

In 2010, Chambers was a key man in getting Queensland over the advantage line, but now the Reds feel they need to create more through a second playmaker at inside centre beside Quade Cooper, and fullback Ben Lucas as another ball player.

Faingaa can perform a number of roles at No.13 and McKenzie has stressed his inspirational tackling, as his side's best backline defender, "got him a ticket to the dance".

Chambers' ability to play on the wing could become an important asset, with flyers Rod Davies and Peter Hynes on the long-term injury list and youngsters Dom Shipperley and Kimami Sitauti set to miss the next month on Australian Under-20s duty.

"Sometimes, selection is a distraction in that space, but selection is only a moment in time and your prospects in selection can change quickly," McKenzie said.

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