Slipper hungry for more Reds success

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    Wallabies prop James Slipper will attack the Super Rugby pre-season with extra hunger and confidence as the pain from missing Queensland’s grand final triumph still burns.

    Slipper was Monday named as one of 10 current Test players included in a strong 30-man Reds squad to play their first 2012 trial against the Brumbies in Cairns.

    The 22-year-old tight-head was the Queensland hard-luck story of an otherwise fairytale 2011 when he badly injured his ankle early in the final round win over the Chiefs.

    It forced him out of the play-offs, including the thrilling 18-13 victory over the Crusaders in a memorable decider, and almost cost him a shot at the Rugby World Cup.

    But after a strong end to last year, Slipper admits he’ll start the new season with plenty of fire in his belly.

    “It’s still fresh in my mind, missing the finals,” he said on Monday.

    “It was very disappointing on my behalf but in the end we won the premiership and I’ve got to be happy with that.

    “This year I’m just hoping we can get there again so I can have a taste.”

    Slipper made every post a winner in his late return for the Wallabies, starting the last three matches of 2011 after spending most of the World Cup on the bench.

    Set to go head to head with Wallabies team-mate and good friend Ben Alexander in Saturday night’s trial against the Brumbies, the 21-Test front-rower believes he’s set a good platform for 2012.

    “The World Cup (finishing third) was pretty disappointing but personally I felt like the more games I had the better I got,” he said.

    “I really felt at home starting, particularly at the end of the year.

    “I’m 10 times as fit as I was at this time last year – I’m heavier (118kg) and I’ve also trimmed down and I’m fresh so I’m really looking forward to the start of the season.”

    Fellow prop Ben Daley will return from shoulder surgery in Cairns while backline trio Quade Cooper (knee), Anthony Faingaa (shoulder) and Rod Davies (hamstring) and veteran lock Van Humphries (elbow) are the only notable absentees.

    While Mike Harris remains in prime position ahead of Ben Lucas to wear Cooper’s No.10 jersey, try-scoring speedster Luke Morahan is set to get first crack at fullback in the first of Queensland’s two trials.

    Another back-three contender Aidan Toua did his underdog chances no harm by winning the Reds’ annual `King of the Gym’ strength competition on Monday, narrowly beating Digby Ioane with Scott Higginbotham third.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (5)

    • February 7th 2012 @ 7:38am
      Crosscoder said | February 7th 2012 @ 7:38am | ! Report

      I am a tad confused ,is this intended for the rugby league threads,or are we referring to the new speaker of the House: Slipper?

      • February 7th 2012 @ 11:19am
        Cattledog said | February 7th 2012 @ 11:19am | ! Report

        Crosscoder, sure you don’t mean crossdresser? Seems most of you troll boys are easily confused…

    • Roar Rookie

      February 7th 2012 @ 10:57am
      Comrade Bear said | February 7th 2012 @ 10:57am | ! Report

      I cerntainly hope Slipper and Daley are all set to go by Game 1 – !!

    • February 7th 2012 @ 3:03pm
      Gary Russell-Sharam said | February 7th 2012 @ 3:03pm | ! Report

      Will be a good to brilliant front row for the Reds this year Daley Slipper and Holmes not necessarily in that order but that will be the front row that they will field. I have a sneaky suspicion that Holmes will be much better this season he is injury free and is approaching his prime as a front row. IMO I wouldn’t be surprised to see Holmes in the starting lineup after a couple of games and they will rotate around for the season. The three of them will all improve on their form from last season and Daley and Slipper must only get better they are still only youngsters. It will be good to see the Reds very competitive in this department for this season. With some advantage in the front row this will give the backs a little bit more room to move.

    • February 7th 2012 @ 4:16pm
      granville said | February 7th 2012 @ 4:16pm | ! Report

      another Aust frontrow article…………

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