McKenzie cracking the whip early

Mon, 07 Jan 2013 09:29
Large ewen mckenzie looks 630 Large cooper reds pose630 Large dom shipperley reds2 630 Large ben tapuai reds 630

Preparations for the Queensland' Reds two February trial games got into full swing on Monday, with all Wallaby representatives back on deck.

Preparations for the Queensland' Reds two February trial games got into full swing on Monday, with all Wallaby representatives back on deck to further bolster the team's pre-season efforts.

The Reds returned to pre-season training late last week, re-energised and ready to tackle the challenges of what will be a huge year in Queensland throughout 2013 - which includes eight blockbuster regular season Super Rugby home games at Suncorp Stadium and a historic tour match against The British & Irish Lions in June.

The Lions match is a great opportunity for the Reds to test themselves against elite international talent from England, Ireland Scotland and Wales, while in Super Rugby, the Reds are pursuing their third straight Australian Conference title and second Super Rugby championship in three years.

However, before then, the Reds focus is on both February trial games, against the Blues in Toowoomba on February 2 and against the reigning Super Rugby champion Chiefs on the Sunshine Coast on February 8.

Both are critical encounters before the team's Round One Super Rugby clash against the Brumbies in Canberra on February 16 and Reds Director of Coaching Ewen McKenzie has emphasised the need for players to excel in the opportunities they will be offered leading into and during the trials.

"We've worked extremely hard on building a roster where there is healthy competition and stronger depth across all positions and the creation of the Reds College for 2013 has added to our available playing stocks," McKenzie said.

"There will undoubtedly be a number of difficult selection choices to be made before round one so the next month is critically important in the evaluation process where we will be wanting to see the best each player has to offer and where they are at.

"Already we've seen an increase in intensity since welcoming back our Wallabies after Christmas and it's important that we continue this momentum leading into our trials and then the season."

There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 04 December 2015
Cardiff Blues v Connacht 19h05 BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park
Ulster v Edinburgh 19h35 Kingspan Stadium
Gloucester v Sale Sharks 19h45 Kingsholm
Sat, 05 December 2015
Treviso v Scarlets 15h00 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Glasgow Warriors v Leinster 15h00 Scotstoun
Harlequins v London Irish 15h00 Twickenham Stoop
Worcester Warriors v Leicester Tigers 15h00 Sixways
Bath v Northampton Saints 15h15 Recreation Ground
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 17h30 Ricoh Arena
Sun, 06 December 2015
Dragons v Munster 14h30 Rodney Parade
Newcastle Falcons v Saracens 15h00 Kingston Park
Zebre v Ospreys 15h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 16 11 0 5 52
Brumbies 16 9 0 7 47
Rebels 16 7 0 9 36
Reds 16 4 0 12 22
Force 16 3 0 13 19
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 16 14 0 2 66
Highlanders 16 11 0 5 53
Chiefs 16 10 0 6 48
Crusaders 16 9 0 7 46
Blues 16 3 0 13 20
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 16 10 1 5 45
Lions 16 9 1 6 42
Bulls 16 7 0 9 38
Sharks 16 7 0 9 34
Cheetahs 16 5 0 11 26