Ready for redemption

by Sam Phillips

Andrew Ready was Queensland's breakout star in 2016 but it's fair to say 2017, to date, hasn't gone to plan.

The arrival of Stephen Moore was always going to curb Ready's development but instead of pressing for a starting spot as Moore's understudy, things have gone awry.

Alex Mafi was preferred to Ready as Moore's understudy for the back half of the Super Rugby season and the new Brisbane City skipper is the first to admit he hasn't set a high standard for himself this year.

"It's pretty well documented that the professional side of things were probably lacking so making those changes, they're key for me moving forward," Ready said.

"Missing non-compulsory things, leaving things early, not giving things 100 percent and not being honest with myself.

"I was just going through the motions, doing the gym, doing the training, I'm a pretty honest person and am honest with myself about that."Ready made the hooker job his own in 2016. Photo: Getty ImagesReds coach Nick Stiles sent Ready and Nick Frisby back to club rugby in round seven and while Frisby returned to be a regular fixture in the 23, Ready only featured in two more matches throughout the season, when Moore was rested.

He spent the year playing club footy for Easts so to now be given the nod as City skipper is a sign of how far he has come.

"I'm extremely excited, I wasn't expecting it (to be named captain)," Ready said.

"It's been a pretty tough year but I think I have learned a lot away from rugby at the moment so being young, hopefully I still have plenty of years left in me.

"I was very lucky to be here when both Saia (Faingaa) and James Hanson were here, two Wallabies as well and when I had that opportunity, I didn't want to let it go.

"That's why 2016 was such a good year for myself but I am still the same rugby player as I was then and I am going to go out there and prove it.Ready's monster 2016 saw him start for the Barbarians. Photo: Getty Images"This is just the beginning and I can't wait to lead by example on a field, prove a lot of people wrong and get back to the form of last year.

"I want to be able to prove that now, when I have this opportunity."

Ready will lead a City side shooting to replicate their form in 2014 and 2015, when they were crowned premiers, before falling back to the pack in 2016.

He skippered Easts' Premier Colts side in his first year out of Gregory Terrace, where he was vice captain of the 1st XV in 2010, but otherwise has limited captaincy experience.

In his eyes, that won't be a hurdle in the quest for success, on both the personal and team front.

"It's going to be a big task," he said.

"I wouldn't say it's new to me but I haven't been given a leadership role this year or in previous years.

"I am very lucky to have guys like Quade, Fris, young Reece Hewat and Sammy Talakai in the leadership group.

"I am going to be going to them to ask a lot of questions but at the end of the day, I let my rugby do the talking and I want to lead by action."