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Super Rugby Profile: Queensland Reds

Finishing down in eighth place at the end of the 2023 Super Rugby Pacific season, the Queensland Reds have work to do to narrow the gap on the frontrunners heading into the 2024 campaign.

With a new head coach in place at Suncorp Stadium for this season, the Reds will be hoping a change in leadership will see Queensland have a better chance of title of finals glory.

The Reds are available at 17.00 to win the grand final this season. 

A new dawn under Kiss

Following the departure of Brad Thorn, the Reds have turned to the experienced Les Kiss to try and turn their fortunes around.

Having worked with club sides Ulster, NSW Waratahs and London Irish, along with national teams Ireland and South Africa, Kiss has plenty to bring to the table 

The Reds scraped into the top eight by the skin of their teeth ahead of the Highlanders last season but their journey was to end in the quarter-finals ended with a respectable 29-20 defeat at a strong Chiefs side.

This season’s challenge is to turn the Reds from brave quarter-final losers to a side that can challenge further into the finals.

Kiss has a background as a defence coach and resolving the Reds’ issues without the ball will be one of his biggest challenges.

Only five teams conceded more than the Reds’ 451 in their 14 games in the regular season last term.

Plugging those gaps in defence will be key for Queensland and is something Kiss will have been getting to work on.

Key players

Co-captains Liam Wright and Tate McDermott will understandably play key roles in the campaign to come.

Flanker Wright will be eager to impress new Wallabies boss Joe Schmidt with his efforts in the back-row, while McDermott looks to have a bright future ahead of him with the national side.

Also in the backs, the experienced James O’Connor will also be looking to catch the eye of Schmidt and it will be interesting to see how the 33-year-old goes this season.

New signings

The Reds have been busy in the offseason, with 10 players making the switch to the Brisbane-based outfit.

In the forwards, Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, Alex Hodgman, Cormac Daly, Joe Brial, Massimo De Lutis, Trevor King, Max Craig and John Bryant have been added to the squad.

Fly-half Harry McLaughlin-Phillips and winger Tim Ryan are the new additions to the backline.

Opening fixtures

The Reds will kick-start the 2024 Super Rugby Pacific campaign on 24th February with the arrival of the Waratahs to Suncorp Stadium.

In Round 2, the Reds take on the Hurricanes in Wellington on 3rd March, before returning to the Suncorp Stadium to host the Chiefs on 9th March.

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