Reds won’t rush to splash cash on rebuild

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    Rebuilding Queensland Reds will not involve a frenzied dash for players cut from either the Western Force or Melbourne Rebels.

    With the axe set to fall on one of Australia’s Super Rugby franchises before the 2018 season, the embattled Queenslanders could be tempted to go to market.

    But after a disappointing season that reaped just four wins and ended in a 40-17 loss to the Highlanders on Friday night, coach Nick Stiles plans to keep the faith in the young brigade the club recruited prior to the 2017 season.

    “It’s very clear we are in the early stage of a growth period,” Stiles said.

    “All of those young players … they’re in the first year of contracts. So we’ve got a very consistent squad to move forward into next year with.

    “The season we’ve had now, you’re building those combinations, the cohesiveness of the group. Moving forward that is going to much better.”

    That’s not to say the Reds are shutting the door on recruitment entirely.

    “There’s still a couple of positions that we haven’t filled out and we will look to supplement the group with,” Stiles said.

    But despite the results not coming, Stiles said there was every reason for Reds fans to be optimistic about the future.

    “I am really excited to see the growth of some of those young guys,” he said.

    “Taniela Tupou was outstanding tonight, he has really finished the season off strongly.

    “Alex Mafi came on and played really well in the second half, Markus Vanzati did his job again in the front row.

    “We’ve seen the emergence of two big, physical second-rowers in Lukhan Tui and Izack Rodda. I think they will really be a combination that will really drive forward and become dominant.

    “Adam Korczyk was really solid this year, I thought Caleb Timu starting for us tonight was really good.

    “And then in our back guys you’ve got Duncan Paia’aua who had a really solid, consistent year. Izaia Perese, the experience he’s had in Super Rugby, he’s going to be a lot better for it.

    “Hamish Stewart got good experience, probably a bit ahead of time. But once again he’s a really tough country kid and he’s going to be even better so there are a lot of positives there.”

    © AAP 2017

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