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Reds 'raising the bar' ahead of Super Rugby Pacific tilt

Sun, 28/11/2021, 11:00 pm
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Super Rugby Pacific 2022 will include Moana Pasifika and Fiji Drua

Reds and Wallabies backrowers Liam Wright and Harry Wilson have been impressed by the rapid developments of their squad as they return to full pre-season.

The pair re-joined at the start of the month after spending time with the Wallabies during the Rugby Championship.

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With a large contingency of their 2021 playing squad (31 from 35 players) remaining in Ballymore for 2022, the skipper noticed the rise in intensity and hunger instantly as they look to build off their Super Rugby AU success.

“The squad is looking really impressive,” Wright believes.

“This is the third week back in pre-season for a lot of us and we’ve really had to raise the bar and intensity because of what the guys are working towards. Changes in physical shape, improvements in those basic skills and game development and plenty of fitness.

“We’re really enjoying our time back and the squad has really raised the bar whilst we’ve been gone. We still have a long pre-season to go but the organisation is in a healthy place at the moment.”

2021 was a breakout year of sorts for the Reds, ending a ten-year drought without a title with a last-minute win over the Brumbies.

This saw them nominated for 'Team of the Year' at the Queensland Sports Awards whilst Brad Thorn was nominated as 'Coach of the Year'.

Whilst they enjoyed success at the domestic level, this failed to translate into the Trans-Tasman season, winning just once from their five games.

As they prepare for the inaugural Super Rugby Pacific season, number eight Harry Wilson believes they enter with plenty of motivation as they look to make history.

“It was such a good experience getting that Super Rugby AU win,” Wilson said.

“We’re now super motivated to improve and try and win this new competition this next year.

“Personally I want to win the new comp with the boys so I’m super motivated to get myself in the best condition and try to do my best to win my spot in the team.”

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