Slipper: Queensland fans deserve success

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

It's time to walk the talk.

That's the message from Reds captain James Slipper, who has led the team through two treacherous seasons in his time as skipper.

There has been an inordinate amount of hype for a team that managed just three wins last year but that comes with the territory when the likes of Quade Cooper, Stephen Moore, George Smith and Scott Higginbotham are listed on the team sheet.

Speaking before this morning's captain's run, Slipper said Queensland rugby fans that had stuck fat through the tough times deserve a return to the winning ways of 2010-13.

"The talking is over and we have to go out there and perform," he said.Slipper will lead the team for the third consecutive season. Photo: Walmsley"We want to play the kind of game that they (the fans) are proud of, win or lose.

"We want to show that playing for Queensland means something to us, which it clearly does.

"I think they deserve success and that is something we are striving for," James Slipper

The 23-man squad that will run out for the Reds' season opener against the Sharks tomorrow night were presented with their caps by 40 Vintage Reds this morning, a move by coach Nick Stiles to remind his side what it means to play for Queensland.

"That was a special experience, having players we grew up watching coming to the club and back connecting with the players," Slipper said.

"It’s a great initiative and it’s great to see so many faces out here today that really just want us to succeed."The Reds are a unified outfit heading into their season opener tomorrow night. Photo: WalmsleySlipper said the team had not done a great deal of homework on their opposition tomorrow night, with the team opting to focus on their own work.

"Our preparation has been solely focused on us - it’s Round 1 so no games have been played so for us we will just focus on our own game and making sure everything we have practiced we put into the game," he said.

"I think we have genuinely done the hard work and the boys have taken a lot of confidence from that.

"Overall the confidence in the squad and the depth in the squad is much better than in past years but as I said earlier we have to go out there and still perform to the level that we want."