Stiles: Tupou head butt was silly

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

Nick Stiles has labelled Taniela Tupou's head butt as "silly" but did not dwell on the matter as the Queensland Reds prepare for their Super Rugby opener next Friday.

Speaking at the Super Rugby launch today, the Queensland Reds head coach was clearly disappointed with Tupou's head butt on Liam Messam in their Brisbane Tens Quarter Final but took a matter of fact approach to the incident.

"He’s a gun - he’s a 130kg beast but he’s still a young kid and you learn some pretty tough lessons when you're young," he said.Taniela Tupou will not play in Round 1 after copping a two week suspension. Photo: Walmsley"It was a silly thing to do and he now misses the first game, unfortunately.

"You don't bump off Liam Messam unless you're a pretty special footballer so that just shows the raw power that he's got but he's going to have a lot of people up in his face now and that's something he is going to have to grow from."

There was some confusion yesterday as to whether 'Tongan Thor' would be eligible to play for Brothers in the Australian Club Championship on February 25 but Stiles clarified today that the suspension includes that Saturday.

Stiles used the Brisbane Tens tournament as a means of testing his young squad members but came away particularly impressed with the work of Karmichael Hunt.

"He looks like a footballer again rather than a hybrid AFL-rugby player - he’s put on a good amount of body mass and he’s very powerful in the gym now," he said.

"The tests they did the other day, he’s the most powerful in the group so that just shows you what sort of shape he is in."