Josh out to prove 2023 was no Flook

Thu, Feb 29, 2024, 10:57 PM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Highlights from the Round 1 clash of Super Rugby Pacific 2024 between the Queensland Reds and NSW Waratahs

Queensland Reds centre Josh Flook is brimming with confidence after a breakout 2023 that saw the young centre called into the Wallabies squad and make his Australia A debut.

The 22-year-old was called into Eddie Jones' first training squad in April after emerging as one of the Reds' best last season.

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He scored six tries in the first five games, including three doubles, to match the record set by Chris Latham in 2021.

This saw Flook selected for Australia A as they went to Tonga and Portugal for valuable game-time before the World Cup.

“Getting the chance to learn off some of those older heads such as Bernard Foley and people like that, they have so much experience not just here but all over the world," he told before the start of the season.

“I think that’s helped as a young player to continue to push myself for further honours. I’ve definitely learnt a bit more off the older heads and see what it’s like from their perspective

"(Tonga) has some big boys and some big name players so to match up against them and see how I went, it showed I still have room to improve to get myself to that next level."

The confidence from that exposure was clear to see in their opening round win over the NSW Waratahs, breaking the line late to put Fraser McReight over for the game-sealer.

“We’ve got some pretty good freedom to do what we want and if we see it, we’re able to go after it," he said.

"We’ll be able to let our hair down a bit more and play what we see."

It helps to have an injury-free build into the season.

Flook has dealt with his fair share of setbacks early in his career, with his 2022 season cut short after a shoulder injury.

“I’ve had a couple of shoulder reconstructions over the course of my short career so far so this is probably my first full preseason," he admits.

“We’ve been able to get my hands dirty for the entire time and not worry too much about the injury side of things…Being able to come in straight away, not a few weeks later than everyone else and trying to play catch up, I’ve been on an even playing field and I’ve been able to do everything that everyone’s been able to do so it’ll put me in good stead for this year.

“It’s been tough but it’s good, the body’s feeling really nice and ready to go."

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