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Thread: Reds have question mark over Super side

  1. #1
    Immortal Contributor
    travelling_gerry's Avatar
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    Feb 2006
    Perth, Western Australia, Australia

    Reds have question mark over Super side

    Laine Clark, AAP
    January 25, 2011, 4:33 pm

    All eyes will be on Queensland captain James Horwill in his comeback match against the Crusaders in Cairns on Saturday night, but that's not the main issue for Reds' coach Ewen McKenzie.

    According to McKenzie there are "six big question marks" over the make-up of his squad ahead of the 2011 Super Rugby season.

    Horwill has regained the captaincy after returning from a knee reconstruction and will be forgiven for feeling a little anxious in the pre-season opener against the Kiwi powerhouse - his first game in almost a year.

    But McKenzie hinted that a few players should be feeling nervous as he runs the rule over the squad ahead of their official season kick-off against Western Force at Suncorp Stadium on February 20.

    He said there were five alone in consideration to replace departed ex-All Blacks flanker Daniel Braid before a demanding season start.

    "He (Horwill) will probably play more than half a game (in Cairns)," McKenzie said.

    "It's a real balance. We have two trial games.

    "It's fair to say we know about a bunch of players but there is five to six big question marks and then it is up to other players to hold their form.

    "We've got some experienced players but they have to give us the benefit of that experience (in the pre-season)."

    His 28-strong trial squad for Cairns boasted 15 Wallabies - including nine from the recent overseas tour - as well as five debutants.

    But it was the calibre of his omissions that were another talking point - the likes of Anthony Faingaa, Peter Hynes, Rob Simmons and Jake Schatz.

    However, McKenzie said all were expected to reach full fitness and be considered for the Super Rugby opener - only adding to a welcome selection headache before the Force clash that is still scheduled for Suncorp Stadium despite flood damage.

    "We want to make sure we have as many fit people as we can when we play the Force," McKenzie said.

    "That maximises our chances of picking the best team."

    And he will need it ahead of an unprecedented season start that will feature the other four Australian teams - the Force, NSW (February 26), ACT (March 5) and newcomers Melbourne Rebels (March 18).

    "We have four local derbies in a row," McKenzie said.

    "And we know you have to get out of the blocks (early to be in finals contention)."

    Reds trial squad:

    Forwards: Albert Anae, Ben Coridas, Ben Daley, Saia Faingaa, Liam Gill, James Hanson, Scott Higginbotham, Greg Holmes, James Horwill (captain), Leroy Houston, Van Humphries, David McDuling, Beau Robinson, Radike Samo, Guy Shepherdson, James Slipper, Lei Tomiki.

    Backs: Will Chambers, Quade Cooper, Rod Davies, Will Genia, Mike Harris, Digby Ioane, Ben Lucas, Luke Morahan, Kimami Sitauti, Ben Tapuai, Aidan Toua.

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  2. #2
    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
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    Sep 2006
    That seemed like an article that didn't say much.

    If I'm right, the six question marks include five guys fighting for the vacant openside which leaves one selection question mark. If that's true it sounds like they'll have a fairly average back row, with a journeyman openside. I can't imagine that's the case for a state that had a part in the development of bam, rocky, higginbotham and a bunch of others.

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    C'mon the

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