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RedsThe Reds have confirmed a 37-man senior squad for the 2016 Super Rugby season, with 8 fresh faces in total joining the ranks at Ballymore.

In addition to the high-profile signings of Kane Douglas, Ayumu Goromaru, Cadeyrn Neville and NRL winger Eto Nabuli – the Reds also spent the off-season promoting from within the ranks of Queensland Rugby’s pathways with flyhalf Sam Greene and outside backs Junior Laloifi and Izaia Perese earning contracts following their performances in Queensland Premier Rugby and the National Rugby Championship (NRC). They are joined by Australian Under 20 lock Lukhan Tui, who grew up in Sydney.

In all, 20 players were retained from the 2015 Super Rugby squad, 11 of which were off contract and re-signed with the Reds, including Liam Gill, Greg Holmes, James Slipper and Rob Simmons.

In addition to that, the Reds have further progressed the careers of 8 members of its Elite Development Squad, promoting them to the Reds Senior Squad for the 2016 season.

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James Slipper

James Slipper

The Reds will need a new captain for the start of the 2016 Super Rugby season as Wallabies Rugby World Cup prop James Slipper will have surgery in the off season.

Slipper has returned to Australia from England and will see surgeon Phil Duke to sort out a shoulder issue that has been troubling him for several seasons.

The new Super Rugby season begins in 14 weeks and the Reds start the new season with a match against the Waratahs in Sydney on 27 February.

Minor shoulder surgery will rule him out of the opening Rounds of the season while a full shoulder reconstruction could keep him out until April or May.

In his absence the Reds captaincy could go to vice-captain and Wallabies lock Rob Simmons or flanker Liam Gill.

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Kane Douglas down injured in the Final against the All Blacks

Kane Douglas down injured in the Final against the All Blacks

Wallabies lock Kane Douglas faces surgery on his injured left knee this week after MRI scans confirmed he sustained a ruptured ACL during Australia’s World Cup Final against New Zealand.

The 26-year-old injured his knee when he fell awkwardly just 15 minutes into the decider and took no further part in the match.

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Ayumu Goromaru

Ayumu Goromaru

Japan’s Rugby World Cup hero Ayumu Goromaru will join the Reds after signing with the club for the 2016 Super Rugby season.

The 29-year-old fullback became a household name in Japan and turned the rugby world on its head last month when he led his nation’s shock 34 / 32 win over South Africa – with the match being described as the biggest upset in Rugby World Cup history.

Goromaru scored 24 points in that match and twice received Man-Of-The-Match honours at the tournament. He has since been labeled a ‘national hero’ in Japan after spearheading his nation’s Rugby World Cup campaign in which they secured a record 3 wins.

The 2016 season will be Goromaru’s 1st in Super Rugby. He has spent his entire professional career playing in Japan’s Top League, while also forging an impressive Test Rugby résumé, with 56 Test caps and 708 points – making him Japan’s all-time leading points scorer.

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James O'Connor

James O’Connor

Former Wallaby James O’Connor will return to Europe after the Queensland Rugby Union made the decision to release the Reds’ player from his contract.

O’Connor joined the Reds on a 2-year deal ahead of the 2015 season, but due to a number of personal matters, which the Queensland Rugby Union (QRU), Australian Rugby Union (ARU) and the Rugby Union Players’ Association (RUPA) have been aware of since May, the QRU has agreed to release him from his 2nd year.

QRU CEO Jim Carmichael said: “James has experienced a difficult time personally since returning to Australia and we’ve been aware of that for some time. It is disappointing that James was not able to reach his full potential while he was with us but after a great deal of thought, we believe it is in his and the Reds’ best interests that we exercise our release clause in his contract.

“Therefore, James will return to Europe where he feels the spotlight on him is less intense. In our discussions, we’ve agreed that should James return to Australia to play rugby in the future, the Reds will have the 1st and last rights to secure his services.”

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Eto Nabuli

Eto Nabuli

The Reds have announced the signature of St.George Illawarra Dragons Fijian winger Eto Nabuli for 2 years.

The 27-year-old grew up playing the 15-man code in Sigatoka, Fiji, but has played Rugby League in Australia for the past 3 years – playing 13 games for the Dragons in 2015.

Nabuli is an imposing figure standing at 1.97m and weighing 108kg. He has experienced a rapid rise in his professional career. In 2013 he was named in the NSW Cup Team of the Year after scoring 29 tries in his 1st season.

In 2014 he made his international Rugby League debut for Fiji and starred for the Panthers in their 2014 NSW Cup Grand Final win over Newcastle. He then signed a 1-year contract with the Dragons to play in the NRL in 2015 – scoring 7 tries in 13 games.

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Matt O'Connor

Matt O’Connor

The Reds have announced the appointment of experienced senior coach Matt O’Connor as the team’s attack coach on a 3-year deal.

O’Connor will join Head Coach Richard Graham (defence) and Senior Assistant Coach Nick Stiles (forwards) ahead of the Reds’ pre-season later this year. The appointment completes the team’s coaching staff structure for 2016.

O’Connor brings almost 20 years of experience to the role. Most recently, he worked as head coach of Leicester in the English Premiership (2009 – 2013) and Leinster in the European Pro 12 (2014 – 2015), achieving success with both teams.

Herbert said O’Connor was a strong addition to the Reds’ coaching team.

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Richard Graham

Richard Graham

The Reds have announced the extension of Richard Graham as head coach for the 2016 Super Rugby season.

Graham will work under a new high performance structure that will see him report into an Executive General Manager.

This newly created structure, outlined as the main recommendation from the recent Reds High Performance Review, sees the appointment of former World Cup-winning Wallabies centre Daniel Herbert, a 124-capped Queensland Red, to this Executive General Manager’s role.

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Karmichael Hunt

Karmichael Hunt

Karmichael Hunt is set for a fiery courtroom showdown with the alleged drug lord at the centre of football’s cocaine crisis.

Lawyers for John Touma, the alleged dealer, will make an application to grill the code-hopping star under cross-examination when the case returns to court on the Gold Coast next month.

Hunt was one of the first big-name sports stars caught by a crime and corruption commission investigation in to a multimillion-dollar cocaine trafficking network.

So far almost a dozen current and former elite footballers have been dragged into the mess on charges ranging from supply and possession to drug trafficking.

Originally charged with 4 counts of supplying cocaine in February, Hunt sensationally took a plea deal for the lesser charge of drug possession and has provided investigators with an explosive witness statement implicating National Rugby League stars and his former teammates at the Gold Coast Suns, in the scandal.

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Kane Douglas

Kane Douglas

The Queensland Rugby Union has secured the signature of Test lock Kane Douglas for the next 3 years, adding further depth to the Reds’ forward stocks.

The 26-year-old is an imposing figure standing at 2.02m tall and weighing 119kg, but also brings with him significant experience, having already played 75 Super Rugby games and 14 Test matches since making the step up to professional rugby in 2010.

Douglas made his Super Rugby debut for the Waratahs in 2010 and played his 1st Test for the Wallabies in 2012. In 2014 he made the decision to experience Rugby overseas and moved to Leinster to play in the European Pro 12 competition.

Douglas has returned to Australian shores and said he was looking forward to this next chapter of his life on and off the field.

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RedsThe Queensland Rugby Union has signed no less than 6 more players to the Reds squad ahead of the 2016 Super Rugby season.

In an effort to continue the restructuring and reviewing of the Reds program – these signings come after a number changes that have already been implemented in the past 2 months, including the appointment of Brad Thorn as Reds elite development squad forwards coach, Damian Marsh as head of athletic performance, the re-signing of Nick Stiles as senior assistant coach and the appointment of Cameron Lillicrap as head physiotherapist.

The announcement is headlined by the signing of 2 promising 21-year-old flyhalves in Jake McIntyre and Sam Greene.

The Reds have also added to the depth in their forward pack by adding prop Pettowa Paraka, hooker Alex Mafi and locks Lukhan Tui and Izack Rodda – all aged 21 or under.

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Adam Thompson

Adam Thompson

The Melbourne Rebels have announced the signing of former Reds and All Blacks back rower, Adam Thomson, for the 2016 Super Rugby season.

Thomson will bring a wealth of experience to Melbourne, having made 83 Super Rugby appearances for the Highlanders and Reds as well as winning the 2011 Rugby World Cup with the All Blacks among 31 appearances for his country (29 Tests).

Capable of playing anywhere in the loose forwards, Thomson played alongside compatriot Tamati Ellison for both the Highlanders and All Blacks, while he worked with Rebels’ Assistant Coach Zane Hilton during their time together at Canon Eagles in Japan’s Top League. Thomson is a try-scoring back rower, having crossed 21 times at Super Rugby level.

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Curtis Browning

Curtis Browning

Chris Feauai-Sautia

Chris Feauai-Sautia

Queensland Rugby Union has re-signed Reds young guns Curtis Browning and Chris Feauai-Sautia ahead of the 2016 Super Rugby season.

Feauai-Sautia has inked a 2-year deal with the club, while Browning has signed a contract extension for 1 year.

Both players are in the early stages of their careers, are just 21 years old and have been with the Reds since they graduated from Brisbane State High School.

Feauai-Sautia famously joined the club as a teenager, signing when he was just 17 years old – following impressive performances in schoolboy rugby. He made his Queensland debut in 2012 as an 18-year-old and made his Wallabies debut the following year, scoring 2 tries in as many Tests.

While his early career was troubled with constant hamstring injuries, the power winger had arguably his most consistent season in 2015. He featured in all but 1 of the Reds’ games this season and sits in the top 5 for the team in run metres (715m), broken tackles (31), line breaks (13) and offloads (9). He has played a total 38 times for Queensland and scored 8 tries.

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Ben Tapuai

Ben Tapuai

The Western Force will inject additional experience into its young backline with the recruitment of Reds centre Ben Tapuai for the 2016 and 2017 seasons.

Tapuai will join the Force having played 66 Super Rugby matches across 7 seasons for the Reds, including starting at inside centre for the Queenslanders in their title-winning team in 2011.

The 26-year-old, who previously represented the Australian Schoolboys in 2006 and 2007, and Australian Under 20 (2008), has played Sevens Tests for the Wallabies, starting in 6 of them during the 2012 Rugby Championship and Spring Tour.

Head coach Michael Foley says Tapuai will bring further experience to his young midfield.

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David McDuling

David McDuling

The Cell C Sharks have announced the signing of Reds lock, David McDuling, ahead of the ABSA Currie Cup season.

The Sharks press release reads as follows:

We are pleased to announce the signing of Reds lock, David McDuling, who will join the Cell C Sharks until the end of 2016.

Known for his never-give-up attitude and athleticism around the park, McDuling made his Super Rugby debut in 2014 against the Crusaders and has since amassed a total of 12 Super Rugby caps for the Reds. He also won the inaugural season of the National Rugby Championship with Brisbane City and had the most carries and run metres of any 2nd rower in the competition.

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Quade Cooper

Quade Cooper

Queensland Rugby Union has advised Quade Cooper that they are withdrawing their contract offer and will not attempt to retain him for the 2016 season and beyond.

It is understood that when Cooper travelled overseas in April he signed a pre-commitment to join French side Toulon at the conclusion of the 2015 Rugby World Cup. However, he had previously – and then continued to – demonstrate a genuineness on wanting to remain with the Reds and the Wallabies.

Since that time, his management has been in negotiation with QRU and Australian Rugby Union (ARU). However, due to events over the last few weeks, QRU CEO Jim Carmichael said the organisation was no longer willing to participate in what has been an ongoing process with Cooper’s management.

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Richard Graham

Richard Graham

Reds head coach Richard Graham admits his future is out of his hands after watching his team end their season with a big loss in Sydney.

The Queensland outfit were hammered 31 / 5 by the Waratahs, letting in 4 2nd-half tries as they went down for a 4th time in a row against their rivals.

It caps a disastrous season for the Reds, who have won just 4 games all season and finished 12th in the table, with speculation over Graham’s future mounting.

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RedsChiefsReds (3) 3 / 24 (14) Chiefs (Final Score)

The Reds and Chiefs did battle in Super Rugby at

Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane at 11:40 SA Time (19:40 AEST, 21:40 NZ Time, 09:40 GMT).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & CSN on TV in SA.

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HighlandersChiefsHighlanders (11) 36 / 9 (3) Chiefs

The Highlanders and Chiefs did battle in Super Rugby at

Rugby Park, Invercargill at 09:35 SA Time (19:35 NZ Time, 07:35 GMT).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & CSN on TV in SA.

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Western ForceRedsForce (10) 10 / 32 (18) Reds

The Western Force and Reds did battle in Super Rugby at

nib Stadium, Perth at 11:40 SA Time (17:40 AWST, 19:40 AEST, 07:35 GMT).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & CSN on TV in SA.

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