Lance named at No.10 for Reds trial

By AAP,

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    Last minute signing Jono Lance will get first crack at the Queensland No.10 jersey vacated by Quade Cooper after being named to start in the Reds’ final trial ahead of their Super Rugby season opener.

    The two time Super Rugby title winner has recovered from a broken hand to get the nod over hot favourite Hamish Stewart in Thursday night’s Ballymore trial against Fiji Warriors.

    It will be Queensland’s final hitout before their February 23 season opener against Melbourne Rebels – the team Lance was expected to run out for this year.

    Lance, 27, left the now defunct Western Force and initially signed with the Rebels for 2018.

    But he was lured to the Reds on a one year deal with new coach Brad Thorn creating a new-look backline.

    Thorn told star halves Cooper and Nick Frisby they were not in his 2018 plans despite the pair being contracted until the end of 2019.

    Reds assistant Tony McGahan looked forward to seeing what Lance could offer in his first game since recovering from the hand fracture.

    It will mark Lance’s first game in Reds colours since starting his career at Queensland from 2011-13.

    “It’s Jono’s first opportunity to play a trial,” former Melbourne Rebels coach McGahan said.

    “It is more about giving him time then we will see where we go.

    “His broken hand kept him out of contact training but he’s been playing relatively close to the start of the season with (English club) Worcester for three months so he’s probably got the jump on everyone else with regards to game time.”

    Another recent signing, former ACT Brumbies flyer Aidan Toua, will slot into fullback for the trials in the absence of Karmichael Hunt.

    Code hopper Hunt is due to face court again on February 19 and is at risk of having his Rugby Australia contract torn up.

    Brandon Paenga-Amosa has been named at hooker ahead of 2016 Wallabies squad member Andrew Ready who has missed out on selection for the trial altogether.

    Thorn has named a near full strength squad with the likes of injured stars George Smith (back) and Izack Rodda (shoulder) not considered.

    Reds squad: Aidan Toua, Chris Feauai-Sautia, Samu Kerevi, Duncan Paia’aua, Izaia Perese, Jono Lance, James Tuttle, Scott Higginbotham (capt), Adam Korczyk, Caleb Timu, Kane Douglas, Lukhan Tui, Taniela Tupou, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, James Slipper. Reserves: Alex Mafi, JP Smith, Sef Fa’agase, Harry Hockings, Angus Scott-Young, Moses Sorovi, Hamish Stewart, Filipo Daugunu, Liam Wright, Tate McDermott, Teti Tela.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (11)

    • February 15th 2018 @ 8:20am
      Malo said | February 15th 2018 @ 8:20am | ! Report

      Jono is best 5/8 in aust

      • February 15th 2018 @ 11:30am
        Tony said | February 15th 2018 @ 11:30am | ! Report

        Nope Malo, Foley is far superior.

    • February 15th 2018 @ 9:07am
      enoughisenough said | February 15th 2018 @ 9:07am | ! Report

      This selection shows how much Kiwi Thorn has lost the plot. A last minute signing now has the inside running for 10, and another last minute signing Toua at 15. Both guys ex Reds who left the Reds because they were previously unable to get game time….Perhaps the realisation has hit Thorn, SR is not NRC, and he’s a dead set rookie, with no clear plan. Looks like he’s met the panic button and has already pushed it.

      • February 15th 2018 @ 10:26am
        Train Without A Station said | February 15th 2018 @ 10:26am | ! Report

        In this case I’d say getting a trial into last minute signings more than anything else.

        • February 15th 2018 @ 1:38pm
          enoughisenough said | February 15th 2018 @ 1:38pm | ! Report

          Maybe TWAS but with such inexperienced alternatives, why would he not be giving Stewart more time at 10 in a trial, if Stewart is going to be his 10 during the season? If Stewart is his pick for the season moving forward surely getting him on the field and running the plays would be the best thing for such an inexperienced player. It doesn’t make much sense to me to give Lance the nod for the trial if he’s not intending to use him there in the season. Lance is, more or less, a known quantity, and has experience. Stewart is the one in need of game time and development.

      • February 15th 2018 @ 11:32am
        JP said | February 15th 2018 @ 11:32am | ! Report

        enoughisenough

        To be fair on the rookie Kiwi coach,he never had a plot to lose.

    • February 15th 2018 @ 11:12am
      Gary Russell-Sharam said | February 15th 2018 @ 11:12am | ! Report

      At this point in time I’m waiting to see what the outcome is for Thorn. I am not a fan of Toua when he was at the Reds or the Brumbies. Not strong enough in defence is my most serious doubt. Brittle comes to mind.

      And Lance at flyhalf is a player that on his day he is good but I always had the opinion that he was not quite there. I could be proven to be wrong but doubt it.

      I believe that Thorn will go with Stewart for the real side when the comp starts.

      I don’t know if Thorn has the right cattle as yet, time will tell. There are quite a few players in the squad that will not make it to super level and a few oldies that will not get much game time. I hope that they will be playing regularly at Club Level as they should be.

      My interest will be piqued for the first few games to see what difference 4 teams make as to 5 teams.

      I’m still not convinced that the Super comp is the right competition for Australia and New Zealand to be playing. SA will in all probability default after the next TV deal and go North. And Japan and the Argies are so far away from us that it makes travel onerous.

      I’ll be interested to see if changes are made in the future

      • February 15th 2018 @ 4:03pm
        cuw said | February 15th 2018 @ 4:03pm | ! Report

        ” I don’t know if Thorn has the right cattle as yet, time will tell. There are quite a few players in the squad that will not make it to super level and a few oldies that will not get much game time. I hope that they will be playing regularly at Club Level as they should be. ”

        that is an interesting comment u make.

        one expectation of killing Force was that there will be more super quality players in the 4 squads – or in other words , the thinly spread talent of five teams will now be more concentrated in 4 teams.

        so , even after reducing a team the squad has players of not super quality , then there is a big problem for auzzy rugger.

        as a neutral without any connections to these countries , i always thought super 12 was the ideal size to have and maintain an elite competition. with expansion the quality was diluted.

        everything has a critical mass – go above and it will blow up.

      • February 16th 2018 @ 9:20pm
        Ken Catchpole's Other Leg said | February 16th 2018 @ 9:20pm | ! Report

        Great wuestions you raise Gary.

    • February 15th 2018 @ 10:28pm
      bigbaz said | February 15th 2018 @ 10:28pm | ! Report

      Just watched V Fiji, gunna be a long long season with not too many try’s. So much ball , so few metres.

    • Roar Pro

      February 16th 2018 @ 11:44pm
      GusTee said | February 16th 2018 @ 11:44pm | ! Report

      Queensland, you are lucky to have Jono Lance.

      He showed great commitment and tenacity at the Force and he deserves a break.

      Good luck to you Jono.

      PS We will have you back in the West anytime mate!

      MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU.

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