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Reds youngsters face daunting task

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Calls for Reds youngsters to step up in wake of high-profile departures as friendships put to the side

Angus Blyth is simultaneously learning the finer points of rugby and still getting schooled in the gym by his Queensland Reds coach Brad Thorn.

But it’s the perfect place to be as the 21-year-old lock pins his ears back for a starting berth in a Reds side with Super Rugby finals aspirations this year.

“It’s the little details in line-out work, scrum details, jumping technique – things you brush a bit when thinking about the big picture,” he said of Thorn’s guidance.

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And what about in the weights room?

“Not yet (I haven’t out-lifted dual international Thorn); he’s still pretty athletic and pretty fit for a dad.”

Good mates Harry Hockings, Izack Rodda and the versatile Lukhan Salakaia-Loto are among those jostling for minutes with Blyth.

But Blyth, who measures up at 120kg and 204cm, will get a great chance to impress in Friday’s trial match against the Melbourne Rebels in Gladstone.

“The goal is just to rip in,” he said.

“I’m good friends with both Izack and Harry, have played with both and have a good pairing with both.

“‘I’ve got a bit of competition in my role, which is healthy, which is needed, so I’ll just give everything in the trial and see what I’ve got.”

Absent from Super Rugby finals since 2013, the Reds have lost captain and go-to man Samu Kerevi to Japanese rugby this season.

Liam Wright, at just 22, has earned the captaincy ahead of last season’s vice-captain in Rodda.

“I don’t think you can actually replace someone like that, that’s put in such a big shift for Queensland,” Blyth said of Kerevi.

“But it’s time for the younger guys to step; they’ll all be putting their hand up to take that role … and that will be good for the future.”

– AAP

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Calls for Reds youngsters to step up in wake of high-profile departures as friendships put to the side