RUGBY: Suncorp Stadium and Brisbane is home for the Reds, but they proudly stand united as Queensland’s team.

Eager to build on the success of last year’s Reds to Regions tour, the Super Rugby team expanded their reach this year with Toowoomba once again among their stopovers.

“We’re here to engage and connect with our Queensland communities,” Reds hooker Alex Mafai said.

“We’re based in Brisbane, but we are the Queensland Reds not the Brisbane Reds, we’re out here getting in touch with who we are representing so the boys know who we are playing for and the people that make up this great state.”

As part of the regional tour, Reds players and coaching staff put nearly 70 young rugby fanatics through their paces at Queens Park yesterday.

“It’s good to see such a great turn out,” Mafai said.

“Heaps of kids who are eager and keen to pass the footy around and just hang out with each other.

“It’s school holidays so it’s not like a school commitment or anything.

“They’re here on their own time so it’s really good to see them here and hopefully we can pass on a little knowledge and help them out.

“At this age we try to pass on some basic stuff about ball skills and some important ideas of the game they might want to incorporate when they’re young.

“Things like staying onside, getting behind the ball and trying to spread the field.”

The tour could also help shape the next Mac Grealy.

Grealy, a former Downlands College rugby star, recently signed a full-time contract with the Reds and Mafai had high praise for the young star.

“He (Grealy) is an exciting young talent to come out of this area,” Mafai said.

“Every time he gets the ball you know something is going to happen.

“I’m really excited to see what he does this year – he’s been looking really good at training.”

Originally published as Reds connect with fans

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