Back to the future as Reds prepare for Round 1

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

The Queensland Reds have gone back to the future, literally, in preparation for their Round 1 opener against the Sharks on Friday night.

Some of Queensland rugby's biggest names were on hand to take part in the culmination of the 'Cap Project' this afternoon, a seven year mission to accurately list every player that has pulled on the Queensland jersey since the first ball was kicked against NSW in 1882.

Vintage Reds Tim Horan, Stan Pilecki, Tony Shaw and Andrew Slack were presented with their caps and numbers, along with current stars James Slipper, Rob Simmons, Stephen Moore and Quade Cooper.

Nick Stiles was presented with a cap of his own. Photo: QRU/Brendan HertelCoach Nick Stiles was also handed his own cap and spoke to the importance of the Reds honouring those who had gone before them on Friday night.

"One of the things we have here at the Queensland Reds is a really strong history and we are very proud of this state and the players in this state that have made this jersey such an honour to wear," Stiles said.

"We’ve got some fantastic competitors that have played for this state - a lot of them have come through the amateur era and sacrificed so much to play for Queensland and I think anything we can do to re-engage with that playing group and pass on those life lessons, not just rugby lessons will be something that is invaluable for us," - Nick Stiles

With the pre-season hype at its crescendo, Stiles is ready for his team's actions do to the talking.Nathan Sharpe was one of the Reds from days gone by presented with his cap and number today. Photo: QRU/Brendan Hertel"No one puts more expectations on themselves than the playing group and as a player when you feel a real sense of excitement in the locker room between yourselves, that’s one of the most exciting times as a professional athlete and that’s what they’ve got at the moment," he said.

"It’s kind of a new beginning for the Queensland Reds this year - we have a new list, a new squad and we are going to play with a new attitude."