Latham ready for lift off

by Sam Phillips

Chris Latham is ready for lift off.

The Queensland Reds legend, who notched 78 caps for the Wallabies and 117 for Queensland, looks as fit as he did nine years ago, when he last pulled on a Reds jersey.

While his role in the Reds fold for the weekend's matches remains unclear to even Latham himself, fans can expect some booming left foot torpedoes and trademark counter attacking runs in the time he does get on the field.

"I tried hinting to Stilesy yesterday about how much game time I would be getting yesterday but he has learnt the trade pretty well and didn’t give much away," he said.

It's been a long time since Queensland fans have seen Chris Latham in a Reds jersey. Photo: Getty Images"I thoroughly enjoyed coming back yesterday, mixing it with the boys and being able to chat with them and give them advice where possible.

"Also bringing that enthusiasm, something different, I think on Saturday and Sunday having that difference in attitude will hopefully be a positive for the younger generation."

Latham cast an experienced eye over the Reds training session yesterday and could be seen offering words of wisdom to youngster Izaia Perese, raising questions as to whether he would consider a coaching gig in Australia.

"I would love to come back to Brisbane and coach somewhere along the line but I’m happy learning my trade and seeing what my ideas, if they work, and transferring those into guys on the field," he said.

"It’s one of those things, as a player you strive to wear the Wallabies jersey obviously and first and foremost you have to cement yourself for your state - for me it was Queensland and there is nothing I loved more than the Reds jersey so to have that as a coach would be fantastic.

Izaia Perese is one of several Reds prospects that will benefit from Latham's tuition. Photo: Getty ImagesLatham also spruiked the Tens concept.

"For too long now we’ve had three, four games of 15 (on 15 trials) where you’re always worried about the length of the game, injuries, the amount of contact because of the 15 on 15 so 10 on 10 is the perfect format heading into Super Rugby.

"It will show their fitness, their skill level and I guess, I think the Reds after the Tens will get a good gauge of where they’re at."