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Reds

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Quade Cooper

Quade Cooper

Reds flyhalf Quade Cooper will be sidelined for 10 to 12 weeks after suffering a fractured collar bone during a training session at Ballymore Stadium on Thursday.

The 26-year-old playmaker, who was out for 16 weeks in 2014 due to an AC joint injury, will have surgery on Tuesday to repair the fracture, which occurred around the previous operation site.

Cooper’s AC joint injury occurred against the Rebels in May last year when he fell awkwardly on his left shoulder in a tackle.

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RedsQueensland Rugby Union today announced prop James Slipper will captain the Reds for the 2015 Super Rugby season.

He will be supported in the role by two new vice-captains in Reds and Wallabies lock Rob Simmons and recent signing Karmichael Hunt.

Slipper takes over the role with the blessing of incumbent captain James Horwill, who after a number of discussions agreed the best long-term outcome for the future success of the Reds was to step down and allow the growth of the leadership within the team.

In 2014, Slipper was recognised by his Queensland teammates as the Pilecki Medal winner for Players’ Player of the Year and also claimed the Rugby Union Players’ Association Medal for Excellence – which is voted on by all Super Rugby players.

He was also vice-captain of the Wallabies throughout the 2014 Test season and said he was honoured to be given the title of Reds skipper.

“I’m incredibly humbled by this decision. I take great pride in playing for Queensland, so to be named captain is a great honour,” Slipper said.

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Karmichael Hunt

Karmichael Hunt

‘Football chameleon’ and new Reds recruit Karmichael Hunt has his sights firmly set on making the Wallabies World Cup squad.

Having started his career as a Rugby League player with the Brisbane Broncos, Hunt switched to playing Australian Rules in the Australian Football League for the Gold Coast Suns in 2011.

He signed for the Reds in the off-season and is expected to make his Super Rugby debut at fullback in the Round 1 clash with the Brumbies in Canberra.

He has made no secret of his World Cup ambitions, although he knows that he will have to prove himself at Super Rugby level first.

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Super RugbyWith Super Rugby fast approaching it is important to have a look at what each of the teams are doing in their preparations and who they have at their disposal.

As the teams prepare for this brusing competition there is the oppourtunity to test out combanations as well as see how the new boys go.

The Sharks will travel to French champions Toloun to test out their game plan against the Galacticos of rugby while the Bulls will take on the Cheetahs in a traditional pre-season match in Polokwane.

The Australasian sides will also warm up against each other with the Highlanders setting up a comprehensive pre-season schedule due to the first round bye.

The ‘transfer market’ has made the upcoming Super Rugby season an exciting prospect with some big names in James O’Connor and Nick Cummins returning to Australia.

Menawhile, the Bulls have bolstered their squad with some excellent former Cheetahs players.

Finally, and unsurprizingly, Ma’a Nonu has made another move – this time back to the Hurricanes.

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James O'Connor

James O’Connor

Former Wallabies backline star James O’Connor is returning to Australian rugby after year-long exile in Europe, saying he has matured and is ready to resume his 44-Test career.

O’Connor was released from his Australian Rugby Union contract after a series of off-field incidents and forced to continue his career in Europe when shunned by local Super Rugby teams.

Now 24, O’Connor says he has grown up and is determined to leave behind his bad boy image.

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Liam Messam - the boxer

Liam Messam – the boxer

Fiery All Black loose forward Liam Messam will return to the growing ranks of Rugby Union players dabbling in boxing as a pre-season pastime.

Messam, known for his abrasive approach to the game, will be on the undercard when superstars Sonny Bill Williams and Quade Cooper headline the action at the inaugural Footy Show Fight Night in Sydney next month.

Rugby League star Paul Gallen and rising Australian boxer Willis Meehan will also feature in the 31 January event.

Messam’s last entry into the square ring was a points defeat to Gallen in December last year, after he had also beaten Wendell Sailor in 2011.

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James Horwill

James Horwill

Queensland Rugby has announced James Horwill has signed a three-year contract with English Premiership giant Harlequins.

Horwill will make the move to the famous London club following the 2015 Rugby World Cup, which concludes in October next year.

He is currently the most-capped Queensland captain, having led the Reds on 69 occasions.

A modern-day champion of the Reds who led Queensland to the 2011 Super Rugby title, Horwill will make the 2015 Super Rugby season his 10th and his last and is determined to achieve success when he pulls on the Reds jersey for the final time next year.

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Super RugbyTwenty-three newly contracted Australian rugby players have gathered in Sydney for the 12 annual RUPA Induction Camp at St Andrew’s College.

In attendance are players across all five Australian Super Rugby teams and the National Sevens who have been offered their first full time or Extended Playing Squad (EPS) contract for 2015.

Last year the Camp involved players including Will Skelton, Alofa Alofa, Jack Debreczeni, Curtis Browning, Samu Kerevi and Adam Coleman.

In 2014, the camp includes five players from the Brumbies, four from the Waratahs, Rebels and Force, three from the Reds and, for the first time, three members of the women’s National Sevens squad.

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Super Rugby

Some news titbits from all over, in preparation for the 2015 Super Rugby season.

  • Willie Brits, the popular lion-looking Xerox Lion, has made his move back to the Toyota Cheetahs for 2015.
  • Ben Afeaki, Chiefs prop, who has ongoing concussion problems will have to decide his future and consider possible retirement.
  • The Force will celebrate its 10th Super Rugby season by returning one of the club’s favourite sons, Tai McIsaac, to its coaching staff for the next three years.
  • South African-born lock Marco Kotze has become the 11th Queensland-based National Rugby Championship player to be contracted by the Reds.

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Campbell Magnay

Campbell Magnay

The Queensland Reds have signed 17-year-old centre Campbell Magnay, the youngest player in the inaugural season of the National Rugby Championship.

Magnay joins the Reds on a three-year deal, after impressing in his appearances for Bond University Queensland Country throughout the NRC.

He is the ninth Queensland NRC player to be offered some level of contract with the Reds program.

The former St. Joseph’s Nudgee College student represented both the Queensland and Australian Schoolboys sides last year and was playing Premier Colts for Brisbane club side GPS when offered an opportunity with Queensland Country.

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Quade Cooper

Quade Cooper

Injured Queensland Reds and Wallabies fly half Quade Cooper sat down with Chris Garry last week to discuss a dramatic year for his code and club.

Cooper reveals how he helped lure the brightest talent in world rugby, Taniela “Tongan Thor” Tupou, from the clutches of the All Blacks to the Reds, why Queensland should have hit the player market hard following their Super Rugby triumph in 2011, when he will return from injury … and predicts Karmichael Hunt will make the Wallabies’ World Cup squad.

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Taniela Tupou

Taniela Tupou’s decision to snub the All Blacks has attracted derision in New Zealand.

The Reds is set to sign barnstorming teenage sensation Taniela ‘Tongan Thor’ Tupou.

The Reds are understood to be close to finalising a deal for the New Zealand-based 18-year-old who has been chased by four countries and two rival Australian franchises.

If the signing comes off, it will be a massive boost for Australian rugby and cap an impressive fortnight for the Reds, who announced two weeks ago that they have recruited James O’Connor and Karmichael Hunt for next year.

Tupou revealed earlier this week that he would reject offers from the NZRU to defect to Australia, where his older brother lives and plans to guide his career.

The NZRU held last-minute meetings with Tupou in a bid to change his mind but he has not wavered.

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James O'Connor

James O’Connor: The worst of the three Amigos.

Drew Mitchell doesn’t mind admitting he didn’t jump for joy when told James O’Connor would be joining him in the south of France.

When O’Connor signed on for Toulon in February, the former Wallaby wing thought only of the brash youngster he’d known in Australian rugby, and the poor form and controversy behind his exit.

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James O'Connor

Runaway success: James O’Connor scores a try for Toulon on the weekend.

The short-term future of James O’Connor and his return to Australia is assured, but doubts remain about his long-term plans after the World Cup in Britain next year.

Queensland are expecting O’Connor, who has 44 Test caps with the Wallabies, to remain in Brisbane after announcing last Friday that the back had signed a two-year deal with them – starting next season.

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James O'Connor

James O’Connor: The worst of the three Amigos.

Yes, I know that James O’Connor has been a prat.

An official at the ARU who had to deal with him all the time told me that O’Connor was the worst of the Three Amigos – O’Connor, Kurtley Beale and Quade Cooper.

He would encourage and lead his mates into trouble and then, somehow, slide away unscathed, while the other two copped the blame and the punishments.

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James Slipper

James Slipper

Wallabies vice-captain James Slipper has underlined his standing as the most influential prop in Australian rugby by dominating the awards at the Queensland Reds’ gala ball.

Slipper became the first front-rower to win the coveted Pilecki Medal for a second time on Friday night while also taking out the People’s Choice award and the Spirit of the Reds award.

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James O' Connor

James O’ Connor

James O’Connor’s willingness to shelve any special contract demands is the first sign that a new maturity at the Queensland Reds will replace his old spoiled kid persona.

There were reservations initially at Queensland Rugby Union board level that a player with O’Connor’s rap sheet of poor discipline was a bad fit for the Reds.

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Karmichael Hunt

Biarritz’s centre Karmichael Hunt runs to score during the European H-Cup rugby union final match Biarritz vs. Toulouse.

The Queensland Reds will on Friday night unveil James O’Connor and Karmichael Hunt as their blue-chip recruits for 2015.

Rugby’s worst-kept secrets will be revealed together at the Reds’ Gala Ball at the Brisbane Convention Centre, but diehard fans will be hoping for more.

Although O’Connor and Hunt, neither of whom will be in attendance, represent the franchise’s biggest recruitment announcement since Super Rugby kicked off in 1996, Queensland can’t fix the problems that plagued them this season with two outside backs.

Karmichael Hunt and Israel Folau made national headlines when they defected from the NRL to AFL in 2009 and 2010 respectively.

Folau finished a difficult, though lucrative, stint in the AFL in 2012 and is now one of rugby union’s top draw cards. Hunt, meanwhile, is poised to join him in the 15-man code with reports linking him to the Queensland Reds in 2015.

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James O'Connor

HE’S BACK: Reports are saying James O’Connor is set to sign on with the Reds.

The Queensland Reds will confirm the worst kept secret in rugby on Friday night when Wallabies’ prodigal son James O’Connor is announced as their new signing.

News Corp is reporting that the Reds will announce that O’Connor has signed a two-year deal at its Gala Ball in Brisbane.

O’Connor had his 44-Test career put on hold last year after the Australian Rugby Union tore up his contract after the 24-year-old was escorted off a flight to Bali by Australian Federal Police at Perth Airport.

He has since enjoyed a sixth-month stint at London Irish in the English Premiership before signing a short-term deal with European champions Toulon in the French Top 14 competition.

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BathBath Rugby are looking to sign Will Genia from Queensland Reds, having already snared Sam Burgess from National Rugby League club South Sydney Rabbitohs.

It was reported in June that Bath had been linked with Genia, but now the reporting is that the club has made “an audacious bid” to sign the Wallabies scrum-half and is “now in talks… to lure him to England after next year’s World Cup”.

Bath owner Bruce Craig said in June that he had “already signed some players for post-World Cup going into what we consider our 150th year, which is the 2015-16 season”, but he did not name names.

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Ben Daley

Ben Daley

Ben Lucas

Ben Lucas

Reds prop Ben Daley and flyhalf Ben Lucas face lengthy rehabilitation periods after both suffered injuries in their team’s loss to the Waratahs.

Daley dislocated his shoulder in a scrum collapse in the late stages of the game, with scans yesterday revealing damage to his rotator cuff. He will have exploratory surgery next week to determine the full extent of the damage.

Lucas suffered an articular defect in his right knee joint during the opening stages of the match and had surgery today. He will be out of action for eight weeks.

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Liam Gill

Liam Gill

Reds flanker Liam Gill stands to earn his 50th cap from the bench this weekend, after being released from Australian Sevens camp to take on the Waratahs at Suncorp Stadium.

If he takes the field, Gill will become the fifth player to reach his 50th Queensland cap this season, along with the 100-cap milestones achieved by captain James Horwill, vice-captain Will Genia and playmaker Quade Cooper.

Gill has been training with the Australian Sevens squad in preparation for the Commonwealth Games, but has been named in the Reds’ reserves after dialogue between head coach Richard Graham and Sevens coach Geraint John.

Graham welcomed Gill’s return to the Reds for their final match of the season, which promises to be an engaging clash between the two oldest rivals in Australian Rugby.

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Nick Frisby

Nick Frisby

Reds scrumhalf Nick Frisby will miss his team’s final match of the 2014 Super Rugby season against the Waratahs after he suffered a broken jaw in his team’s loss to the Force.

Frisby will be out for six weeks after copping a knock to the jaw early in the second half during Saturday’s game in Perth.

Initial hopes were that he would be able to take the field this weekend, but scans late Monday revealed the fracture, which will require surgery.

Reds head coach Richard Graham said, “It is disappointing to lose Pickle (Nick Frisby).

 

“He has played some good rugby for us recently and it would have been beneficial to continue his partnership with Benny Lucas this weekend. Following surgery tonight he’ll be out for at approximately six weeks.”

Frisby’s injury adds to a long list of squad members currently unavailable for selection, along with Quade Cooper (shoulder/hip), Blake Enever (bicep), Anthony Fainga’a (calf), Chris Feauai-Sautia (shoulder), Will Genia (ankle), Liam Gill (Australian Sevens duties), Eddie Quirk (knee), Dom Shipperley (ankle) and Aidan Toua (pectoral).

Samu Kerevi

Samu Kerevi

Reds centre Samu Kerevi will make his run-on debut in one of three changes to the starting team ahead of this weekend’s clash against the Force in Perth.

A continuation of the Reds’ horror run of injuries has forced all three changes, with last week’s starters Greg Holmes (knee), Dom Shipperley (ankle) and Anthony Fainga’a (calf) all ruled out of this week’s match.

Kerevi will start at outside centre, with Ben Tapuai shifting to inside. Ben Daley returns to the starting lineup at loosehead prop, with James Slipper shifting to tighthead, after Holmes was ruled out of this weekend’s match due to a knee complaint. Lachie Turner will start on the wing in place of Shipperley, who suffered a season-ending fracture-dislocation of his ankle last weekend.

The Reds are also without the services of Quade Cooper (shoulder/hip), Will Genia (ankle), Chris Feauai-Sautia (shoulder), Aidan Toua (pectoral), Eddie Quirk (knee) and Liam Gill (Australian Sevens duties). In all, there are currently seven players with Wallabies experience unavailable for selection.

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WaratahsBrumbiesWestern ForceRedsMelbourne RebelsThe Waratahs are top of the table, three points clear of the Sharks, with guaranteed Super Rugby Finals Series qualification which sees them placed as Australia’s best hope.

The Brumbies and the Force are not out of it yet.

A win to the two-time champions against the Western Australians in Canberra will give them 44-45 points, right on the threshold of what might be the lowest mark to reach the top six.

Meanwhile the Reds and Rebels play for pride.

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James O'Connor

James O’Connor

Eddie Jones

Eddie Jones

Australia were not “appreciably better” with James O’Connor in the side and the struggling Super Rugby Reds team should look elsewhere in their recruiting, and not at James O’Connor, according to former Wallabies coach Eddie Jones.

Former Western Force and Melbourne Rebels back O’Connor is tipped to play for the Reds next season in a bid to revive his 44-test Wallabies career, which stalled last year when he was kicked out of the team for a string of off-field incidents.

He has bided his time in Europe with a stint for London Irish in the English Premiership and also signed a deal to play with Toulon, the French giants announced in February.

Since winning the 2011 Super Rugby championship under Ewen McKenzie, now head coach of the Wallabies, the Reds have fallen on hard times under Richard Graham, and will miss the playoffs this season.

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RedsHead coach Richard Graham has announced his team to face the Rebels in Melbourne this Friday, making just one change to the starting 15 that defeated the Highlanders in the Reds’ last match before the June Test window.

The forward pack remains unchanged from that match, with the Reds’ Wallabies contingent of James Horwill, Rob Simmons and James Slipper in good health and named in the starting XV for Friday’s clash.

Just one change has been made to the backline that started the Highlanders match, with Nick Frisby named at scrumhalf in place of the injured Will Genia, who is out for the remainder of the Super Rugby season after undergoing ankle surgery last week.

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Will Genia

Will Genia

RedsSenior Wallabies scrumhalf Will Genia faces ankle surgery and will be out of rugby for eight weeks, the Australian Rugby Union said on Sunday.

Genia’s troubled season took another downward turn when it was revealed he has had ligament damage in his right ankle since playing for the Reds against the Hurricanes in Wellington on 26 April.

Scans have shown he needs an operation to fix the worsening problem and the 55-Test scrumhalf will undergo surgery on Tuesday.

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Biarritz

Rod Davies

Rod Davies

Biarritz have completed the double signing of Reds finisher Rod Davies and former All Black lock Bryn Evans.

Now in the Pro D2 league, Biarritz, coached by Eddie O’Sullivan, are already recruiting as they look to bounce back to the top flight at the first attempt.

29-Year-old Evans joins on a one-year contract while 25-year-old Davies has put pen to paper on a two-year deal at the struggling southern side.

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Will Genia

Will Genia

RedsReds scrumhalf Will Genia will earn his 100th cap this Friday in their clash against the Highlanders at Suncorp Stadium.

Genia made his debut for Queensland in 2006 against Japan, before his first Super Rugby appearance the following year. He has since become an integral member of the Reds and was highly influential during their 2011 Super Rugby title-winning season.

Now in his eighth season of Super Rugby, Genia said running out for his 100th Queensland cap would be his most cherished milestone to date.

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