Pre-season takes a building block approach
The Queensland Reds will intensify their preparations for 2013 when they host three-time Super Rugby champions the Blues in their opening trial game of the year in Toowoomba on Saturday, February 2.
The match, to be played at The Toowoomba Sports Ground, is the first major Rugby Union fixture in Toowoomba since the Reds hosted the Waratahs in 2009.
It has been awarded to the region in recognition of the continued growth and efforts being made by Downs Rugby to engage the community and promote the code.
The 2013 pre-season is in full swing and those that are fit enough are out on the field and slogging away with the hope of contributing to success in August next year.
"Pre-season takes a building block approach, where many smaller areas are developed with a view that the sum of these parts will give us significant improvement when it matters most," Director of Coaching Ewen McKenzie. said.
"History suggests that to get the job done in Super Rugby at least 35 players will need to contribute on matchday throughout the season, which is the exact number we have under contract and includes at least two players in each position in effect, plus an extra prop, hooker and halfback.
"If injuries were kind then there would be no need to dig deeper for playing resources but unfortunately it’s the depth of injuries and not the volume that can give you the trouble. We experienced this in 2012 when we were forced to use our sixth option at flyhalf, something that is extremely difficult to cater for unless you have South African squad sizes of over 50 players. But that’s a topic for another day.
"It’s therefore critical that the Reds have access to a strong pool of players beneath our contracted squad who are ready to play for us tomorrow. This essentially means that they have the necessary preparation and knowledge to 'pinch hit' for a few games when injuries invariably hit."