Siale stealing Turinui’s thunder

Former Wallabies vice-captain Morgan Turinui (pictured) was supposed to be the Reds big signing for 2008 but it seems another ex-NSW centre is causing excitement in Queensland.

New Zealand-born Chris Siale is scheduled to make his Queensland debut on Thursday night against the Blues who willl have a number of their stars.

“We’re all looking forward to watching him play,” new coach Phil Mooney told AAP.

“He’s training very well and he’s extremely enthusiastic.

“We think he’ll be very good for us this year.”

Injury has held Siale back and he has only been able to play three matches in four seasons with the Tahs but when he does play he is seen by some as a potential Test player at inside centre.

He almost went to France last year for the world cup but again injury struck as an ankle injury saw Turinui heading for France is what would have been his aeroplane seat.

Thursday night’s match will see Turinui partnering Siale and both make their Reds debut and they will have their work cut out for them playing against a possible centre pairing of Blues midfield of Isaia Toeava and Anthony Tuitakave.

“It will be a good test to see where I’m at,” Siale said. “I like it like that.

“One of the main reasons I came to Queensland was to get an opportunity to play some Super 14 and hopefully, all things going well in this first trial match, I get to do that.

“It was really frustrating not getting much game time (with NSW) and suffering injuries as well, so moving up here has been a breath of fresh air.”

Reds playmaker Berrick Barnes is also a fan of Siale and said, “”He has got fantastic feet and is incredibly strong and looks a bit like an NFL running back. I’m looking forward to seeing how he goes,” said Barnes.

Halfback Sam Cordingley will captain the Reds as John Roe has been given an extra week off before testing his reconstructed shoulder for the first time since surgery last year.

Coach Mooney has also left new winger Digby Ioane (knee) and Clinton Schifcofske (calf) off the squad list so that they are fit to face the Highlanders in the Reds Super14 opener on February the 15th .


Chris Latham, Brando Va’aulu, Morgan Turinui, Chris Siale, Peter Hynes, Berrick Barnes, Sam Cordingley (capt); Leroy Houston, David Croft, Hugh McMeniman, James Horwill, Van Humphries, Rodney Blake, Stephen Moore, Greg Holmes.

Reserves: Ben Coutts, Sean Hardman, Dayna Edwards, Ed O’Donoghue, Poutasi Luafutu, Ben Lucas, Quade Cooper, Lloyd Johansson, Caleb Brown.


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