Reds stock up on Wallabies
SQUAD ANNOUNCED: The Reds have officially revealed their 38-man squad for the 2017 Super Rugby which features a number of Wallabies.
The most recent addition to the franchise is Wallabies loose forward Scott Higginbotham, who will join the squad once his Japanese contract comes to an end, who has signed a three-year deal.
"He [Scott Higginbotham] is a fantastic footballer - a very good ball carrier and good aerially. He wants to come back and play for the Wallabies as he feels that he has some unfinished business with the them.
"So to have someone who is highly motivated to win and improve is really important to have," Reds head coach Nick Stiles said.
Higginbotham joins the likes of Quade Cooper, Stephen Moore, Leroy Houston, George Smith and Samu Kerevi in the squad. In addition Kane Douglas, Rob Simmons, James Slipper and Nick Frisby have been retained.
Several players from Queensland's pathway programs have also been promoted to the senior squad, including Brisbane City prop Markus Vanzati, Queensland U20s scrumhalf Moses Sorovi and outside back Jayden Ngamanu, Queensland U20s representatives Alex Mafi and Izack Rodda and former Australian Schoolboys captain Reece Hewat.
The Reds also re-signed Japanese Test player Hendrik Tui, wing Chris Feauai-Sautia and playmaker Duncan Paia'aua.
"We are excited about the list that really shows a good blend of experience and exciting young footballers of tomorrow," he added.
Stiles also hinted at the type of approach the Reds will employ next season.
"We want to play the game very physical and we want to be abrasive," Stiles said in reference to having "big talented second rowers, back rowers and backs" in the squad.
"You look at the way Super Rugby is played now - the defensive line speed and defence is so good that you need players that can damage that line, have the ability to offload and play hard."
Stiles added that he was excited about managing to keep the future of Queensland in the region.
"I would not have put my hand up [to be head coach] if I wasn't up for the pressure or if I felt that we don't have the squad that can win matches. It is easy to speak about Scott Higginbotham, Stephen Moore, George Smith, Leroy Houston and Quade Cooper but the area that has excited me was the work we have done in keeping our best young footballers in Queensland," he stated.
Reds 2017 squad:
Props: Sef Fa'agase, Pettowa Paraka, James Slipper, Sam Talakai, Taniela Tupou, Markus Vanzati.
Hookers: Alex Mafi, Stephen Moore, Andrew Ready.
Second row: Kane Douglas, Cadeyrn Neville, Izack Rodda, Rob Simmons, Lukhan Tui.
Back row: Michael Gunn, Reece Hewat, Scott Higginbotham, Leroy Houston, Adam Korczyk, George Smith, Caleb Timu, Hendrik Tui.
Scrumhalves: Nick Frisby, Moses Sorovi, James Tuttle.
Flyhalves: Quade Cooper, Jake McIntyre.
Centres: Samu Kerevi, Campbell Magnay, Duncan Paia'aua, Henry Taefu.
Outside backs: Chris Feauai-Sautia, Karmichael Hunt, Chris Kuridrani, Lachlan Maranta, Jayden Ngamanu, Eto Nabuli, Izaia Perese.