Reds’ Wallabies back in Super Rugby training

Reds captain James Slipper is back in training

The Queensland based Reds were given a boost this week as a number of their Wallaby players rejoined the squad in preparation for the 2016 Super Rugby season.

Wallabies representatives and 2015 Rugby World Cup finalists James Slipper, Rob Simmons, Greg Holmes and new recruit Kane Douglas joined the team for the first time since the World Cup on Monday, adding a level of experience to the group.

With the Super Rugby season fast approaching, Slipper is looking to take his learnings from the World Cup and help the Reds make the Queensland Rugby public proud.

“The Rugby World Cup was a special moment in my career, it was my second World Cup and the way we came together and played a game that all Australians could be proud of was pretty special,” Slipper said.

“It was disappointing we didn’t get the win at the end but overall the experience was unbelievable and it’s something I’ll never forget.

“It’s important for us to have a good season in 2016, we need to engage with our fan base and prove a point to them.

“One of our main goals at the Reds is to play a brand of Rugby that all Queenslanders can be proud of, whether you’re a Rugby fan or not, you can walk away from a game proud of us whatever the result. That’s something we’re striving for and it’s influencing our training at the moment. We’re looking forward to having a good crack this year.

“In saying that we need to be comfortable and confident in our game and the hard work we’re putting in at the moment will put us in good stead. There is a really good vibe around Ballymore, the squad is training hard and really looking forward to the year ahead.”

Simmons, who was the Reds’ vice-captain during the 2015 Super Rugby season, reiterated Slippers thoughts and believes the squad shares his vision.

“We took a lot out of our experiences at the World Cup and now we’re looking to apply what we learnt here at the Reds and bring the younger squad members to the level of consistency we were performing at over there,” Simmons said.

“The whole squad share’s James’ view regarding getting fans back on board in 2016, we’ve all spoken about it, we weren’t happy with last year and we want to change the perception this season.”

Slipper had surgery following the World Cup to repair a shoulder injury he had been carrying for a number of seasons late in 2015, but he is planning on returning to the field in better shape for the Reds in 2016.

“It was a bad injury, I’ve had it reconstructed but I’m working hard at the moment and hopefully I’ll be back sometime in the first part of the season. I have a fair bit of hard work in front of me but I’m looking forward to it.”

“I’ve been carrying this injury for a number of years now so it was time to get it sorted and I’m looking forward to the the challenges ahead. I’m training hard and the goal is to come back stronger, healthier and fitter.”

The Reds began their 2016 campaign with two pre-season games against the Crusaders (Saturday 6 February) and Brumbies (Friday 12 February) at Ballymore.

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