Queensland Reds have been dealt a double blow following the news that fly-halves Ben Lucas and Mike Harris will both miss a month of action following injuries picked up in the 27-22 defeat to the Sharks. The duo have returned home from South Africa, leaving head coach Ewen McKenzie with a massive selection headache ahead of an important few weeks.
Joel Rapana and Nthan Eyres-Brown have been called up to join the squad in South Africa, with McKenzie forced to look outside his first-team squad to fill the number 10 spot. Rapana has Super Rugby experience with the Western Force and appears to be the man tasked with filling in for the injured Lucas and Harris.
The injuries were the salt in the wounds for the Reds as they lost out to the Sharks despite a spirited performance in South Africa and beginning the game as outsiders in the sports betting. That defeat aside, the Reds have had some decent results and scores in recent weeks and have been the in-form club since the start of the season and McKenzie has refused to be too downbeat despite the result. The coach did admit that losing his two first-choice fly-halves was far from ideal however, and will be hoping whoever fills in can do a job over the next few weeks.
“Losing your two healthy goal kickers and playmakers at the number 10 position is far from an ideal scenario, but we’ll reassess in coming days and come up with a plan best suited for our final game on tour against the Bulls.”
“We are extremely disappointed to have lost to the Sharks but it was arguably our best attacking performance of the season and there are a number of positives we’ll take from the match. We are heading in the right direction with how we want to play the game.”