Slipper to miss start of Reds Super 18 Rugby season

James Slipper will miss the start of the 2016 Super Rugby season

The Queensland Reds will need a new captain for the start of the 2015 Super Rugby season as World Cup prop James Slipper will have surgery in the off season.

Slipper has returned to Australia from England and will see surgeon Phil Duke to sort out a shoulder issue that has been troubling him for several seasons.

The new Super Rugby season begins in 14 weeks and the Reds start the new season with a match against the Waratahs in Sydney on February 27.

Minor shoulder surgery will rule him out of the opening rounds of the season while a full shoulder reconstruction could keep him out until April or May.

In his absence the Reds captaincy could go to vice-captain and Wallabies lock Rob Simmons and flanker Liam Gill.

“If I’d got the shoulder fixed a few years ago, it probably was only going to be a clean-up but it’s been grumbling for a good while so I’ve got to expect that a full reconstruction and four-to-six months out is a possibility,” Slipper told the Courier Mail.

“It didn’t effect my grip strength in scrums but it meant I couldn’t do all I wanted in the gym and my recovery after games was definitely slower.

“There was no way I was going to give up a World Cup.

“It was a great experience considering where we had to come from last year but I’m still very, very disappointed we weren’t able to win the final.”

Slipper said that there were a number of themes he picked up in the Wallabies camp and the leadership of coach Michael Cheika and captain Stephen Moore that he wants to transfer to the Reds.

“Great team spirit and everyone being on the same page doesn’t just happen and we have to be pushing the same high standards at the Reds,” Slipper said.

“The Wallabies were led really well, senior players put their hands up to play well and everyone wanted to play for each other.

“There was plenty of hard, enjoyable work and when the winning rewards come you get addicted to the process again and again.”

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