Ready raring to go for the Reds

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

Andrew Ready has been waiting all season to see his name listed in the starting XV.

Coach Nick Stiles has handed the young Reds hooker his first start of 2017 against the Lions ahead of Wallabies skipper Stephen Moore, a tremendous show of faith in Ready's talent.

Moore played his best 40 minutes since returning to Ballymore in the first half against the Crusaders but Stiles has opted for Ready's flanker-like ability to consistently pull pilfers from the depths of the breakdown.

Speaking from Johannesburg, Ready said he had been waiting to pull on the number 2 jersey all season.

"I’ve been looking forward to it all year - I knew it was going to be a tough challenge with a guy like Stephen Moore in front of me but I want to put my best foot forward for the team," he said.Stephen Moore will come off the bench against the Lions. Photo: Walmsley"There’s a lot of respect there for Stephen Moore but it’s a great competition to have here at the Reds and I guess that’s what we need in every position.

"The jersey is never given to you, you’ve got to earn that right and I’m really excited."

Stiles said he was looking to use Moore's experience in the back half of the game, when he expects it to be a tight affair.

"I was really happy last week against the Crusaders of both Stephen Moore and Andrew Ready," he said.

"Across the 80 minutes we got absolutely maximum effort out of the two of them," - Nick Stiles

"To have some experience on the field at the end of the game with Stephen is going to be crucial.

"Just to have that experience and the knowledge is going to be vital in helping us win that football game."Stiles said his team was set on addressing their abysmal road record of late, having lost nine straight away from the comfortable confines of Suncorp Stadium.

"It’s something I haven’t hid from the players, we’ve discussed it," he said.

"Since we’ve been here the diligence and the professionalism around getting ready for this game and preparing for this game is something I haven’t seen over the last few years.

"For us to win over here probably a bit similar to that 2010 period when the Reds came over here and used a strong win in Africa to springboard their season and ultimately lead to Super Rugby success a year later."