Reds gelling well ahead of Super Rugby season
RUGBY UNION: Queensland Reds coach Nick Stiles said performances at the Brisbane Tens and a trial win over the Melbourne Rebels show the team is already gelling ahead of Friday's Super Rugby opener.
The Reds take on the Sharks at Suncorp Stadium in the first round of this season's Super Rugby tournament on the back of a quarter-final spot at the Tens followed by a 32-13 win over the Rebels last week.
Stiles has brought in a number of new players, including Wallabies skipper Stephen Moore and veteran flanker George Smith, while Quade Cooper is back after his stint in France.
The Reds coach is confident the pieces of the puzzle are now coming together.
"We've made some big signings by bringing in some very big names, but just to gel the squad together was always going to be one of the biggest challenges for me," Stiles said.
"When you watch us play in the 10s and the trial against the Rebels, you saw a side that was playing as a team.
"You can't win anything as an individual, and I reckon the chemistry in the group is looking really positive."
Stiiles was speaking at the launch of the Queensland Rugby Union's Cap Project which documents all players who have represented Queensland's senior men's XVs side in the game's 135-year history in the state.
The project has finally been completed after seven years of research to find a full list of capped players and capped matches since Queensland's first match against New South Wales in 1882.
Stiles said the completion of the project could not have been timed better.
"Perfect time of the year. It's a bit of a new beginning for the Queensland Reds," he said.
"We've got a new list, a new squad, we're going to play with a new attitude.
"To be able to bring this great project into play and highlight the history - for any of the new players who get to debut this year and get a number that's there forever, that's something they'll be very proud of."
The Reds will name their side to face the Sharks tomorrow.