Reds' picks not set in stone

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Reds fans shouldn’t read too much into the makeup of their final trial side, defence coach Tony McGahan says, as round one nears.

Jono Lance and Aidan Toua have been handed the 10 and 15 jerseys for this Thursday’s trial against the Fijian Warriors, but McGahan said selections were more about management than foreshadowing a round one team.

Lance has been recovering from a broken hand suffered playing for UK side Worcester, with this week his first chance to play.

Jono Lance will play at 10 on Thursday night. Photo: Getty Images“He wasn't fit to play in the internal trial or the Tens last week and this is his first opportunity,” McGahan said.

“Hamish Stewart's had some time there at the 10 and in the Fiji game he'll get some more time and Ben Lucas still recovering from a knee.

“It's more about giving time and then we'll cut it up and see where we go to.”

However it plays out, the former Rebels coach said rookie mentor Brad Thorn had a clear plan in place.

“He's got a great respect from the players, he certainly knows exactly what he needs to do,” he said.

“He's probably one of the most qualified first-year coaches going around with his achievements but also the style of player he was and how he's been able to translate that into running a program and also running a squad, soe he's got things moving really well.

“He knows exactly (what) he wants to do, how he wants it done and players are responding.”

As for McGahan, he is happy to focus on the defensive side of the game at Ballymore.

“First and foremost, I need to just do my role about running the defence, that's what I'm employed here to do and offer advice or suggestions as we go forward and if they're needed.”

The Reds take on the Fijian Warriors in their final Super Rugby trial on Thursday February 15, kicking off at 7pm local, 8pm AEDT. Buy tickets here.