Tens to solve Reds’ fullback conundrum
JUST who the Reds will pick to start the season at fullback remains a mystery with the Brisbane Global Rugby Tens becoming even more vital as trial time.
Karmichael Hunt's career remains in limbo while utility Ben Lucas won't be sighted in the trials after minor surgery to clear up a grumbling knee.
Lucas might have been the frontrunner for No.15 against the Melbourne Rebels on February 23 with his experience, kicking boot and spark but for his setback.
Jono Lance, a former fullback but a better flyhalf, may just have healed his broken hand in time for the trial against Fiji Warriors at Ballymore on Thursday week.
While there are no designated fullbacks in the 10-a-side game that will invade Suncorp Stadium on Friday and Saturday, it is an ideal showcase for alert skills, fitness, committed tackling and elusive running.
Code convert Lachie Maranta played in his favourite position at fullback in last Friday's internal trial but needs to impose himself more as a running threat at the Tens to build a case.
The NSW Waratahs have no such issue with Israel Folau on the books although he is being rested from the Tens.
Wallabies livewire Kurtley Beale, elusive former sevens star Cam Clark, Curtis Rona, sniping halfback Jake Gordon and giant Fijian winger Taqele Naiyaravoro are weapons.
All Blacks Akira Ioane and George Moala head a Blues line-up loaded with New Zealand Under-20s talent.