Dissection of the 2013 Australian Super Rugby squads – Queensland Reds

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Our continuing series on the chances of Australia’s Super Rugby squads for 2013 today features the 2011 Champions Queensland Reds.

Best team
1. Ben Daley
2. James Hanson
3. James Slipper
4. Rob Simmons
5. James Horwill
6. Benn Robinson
7. Liam Gill
8. Jake Schatz
9. Will Genia
10. Quade Cooper
11. Digby Ioane
12. Mike Harris
13. Ben Tapuai
14. Dom Shipperly
15. Luke Morahan

16. Sia Fiangaa
17. Greg Holmes
18. Adam Wallace Harrison
19. Radike Samo
20. Ben Lucas
21. Anthony Fiangaa
22. Chris Feauai-Sautia

Other squad
23. Albert Anae
24. Jono Owen
25. David McDuling
26. Eddie Quirk
27. Nick Frisby
28. Jono Lance
29. Rod Davies
30. Aidan Toua

EPS
31. Kevin Davis – prop
32. Blake Evever – lock
33. Jarrad Butler – no 8
34. UJ Seuteni – five-eighth
35. Joel Faulkner – outside back

In
D McDuling, A Anae, J Owen

Out
Guy Shepherdson, Van Humphries, Scott Higginbotham, Peter Hynes

Season chances
The lack of personnel changes in the Reds squad shows that something is working up in the north and there are many more reasons to back this theory. With record members, a strong core of Wallabies and a team that now has several seasons to understand each other’s game, the Reds should take out the Australian conference.

Their squad of 30 is a strong squad and should be able to manage injuries. The only place I see them having a weakness in the overall squad is in their props stocks. Holmes is not a starting prop and Owen is not a Super Rugby prop, so any injuries to their big boys would significantly reduce their chances of lifting the trophy again.

Predicted finish – conference first – overall second

Key player
Will Genia is an absolute game changer. His ability to lift a team by his actions is second to none in Australia. How he returns from a major knee injury will determine the fate of the Reds’ season. In saying that, Ben Lucas and Nick Frisby are two class and able replacements.

Up and comer
Nick Frisby is a dynamic halfback that performs just as well in the fullback position. He is quick off the mark and has a sharp pass off the ground. The under-20s World Cup showed that Nick and Chris Feauai-Sautia are upcoming superstars of our game.

Best buy
The Reds have maintained a steady squad and have not needed to do much off season recruiting. Their best buy of the season would be the elevation of Albert Anae to the main squad, from the EPS. He is a good set piece hooker, with strong skills around the park. If Faingaa or Hanson are down with injury during the year, Anae won’t disappoint.

Biggest loss
Scott Higginbotham will be a big loss for the Reds, given his talent in all aspects of the game. The Reds have ample backrow talent, but Higginbotham provides aggression in attack and defence that is a great motivator for the men around him.

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