As a cricketer Harry Wilson was never scared to take a bowler on and with a Wallabies berth up for grabs he’ll take the same approach to his rugby when the Queensland Reds launch a new, domestic season on Friday.
The Reds will host the NSW Waratahs at Suncorp Stadium to kick off the five-team Super Rugby AU.
Wilson was among the tournament’s form players when the traditional Super Rugby season was abandoned in March, the three-month break a convenient one as he overcome a serious knee injury without missing a game.
The rookie No.8 combined terrific work ethic with an ability to spark offence thanks to fast hands and an adventurous mindset.
It was the same intent that saw Wilson slash a record 35-ball hundred as a schoolboy, opting to step away and stylishly dispatch bowlers over the off-side rather than slog over mid-wicket.
With tests against New Zealand the most-likely Wallabies action this season Wilson, who had to prioritise rugby ahead of cricket, won’t shy away from the bold approach that’s landed him within reach of a berth.
“I’ve always been, I guess, a risky player and I’m trying to work on the risk verse reward part of the game,” the 20-year-old said.
“But I’ve always tried to back myself in those tight situations, so I don’t think much will change there.
“I was happy with my form, but it’s an opportunity to forget where I was and start anew.”
After a tough road trip to begin the season the Reds were showing signs of life, bouncing back from a 0-17 scoreline to beat South Africa’s Bulls 41-17 in their final game before the shutdown.
The mid-season exits of Izack Rodda, Isaac Lucas and Harry Hockings after a messy contract dispute hasn’t dampened Wilson’s spirits, who is keen to test himself against Australia’s best.
Teams will start from scratch, with the Western Force recalled for a 10-week regular season followed by a two-week finals series played on September 12 and September 19.
“We’re feeling pretty positive about it and there’s a lot more on the line versing a few mates and other players in Australia,” Wilson said.
“Playing good footy here gives you a good chance of making those Wallabies squads and (Reds v Waratahs) is the biggest game of the year, there’s no better way to start.”
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