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'It's time': Reds ready for 'important' pre-season clash with Force

By Finn Morton
(Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

After a long and gruelling pre-season, the Queensland Reds are on their way to Perth for an “important” pre-season clash against the Western Force on Saturday.

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With the opening round of Super Rugby Pacific just around the corner, the Reds are preparing for their first match of the year.

Now is the time for players to stake their claim for starting jerseys ahead of the new season, which promises to be thrilling ahead of this year’s World Cup.

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There are a number of players in the Reds squad who are on the cusp of national selection – they have a point to prove this season, and it all begins this weekend.

Head coach Brad Thorn has a talented squad at his disposal, as the Reds look to improve on their quarter-final exit last season.

But with the fresh campaign now nigh on the horizon, Thorn is hoping nobody gets injured this weekend.

“It’s been really good, it’s gone quite quickly actually,” Thorn said at Brisbane Domestic Airport on Friday.

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“The guys are in a reasonable space and are looking forward to it. It’s time really to play, we we’ve got this trail with the Force over in Perth that the guys are looking forward to.

“First of all as a coach you don’t want any injuries. You want the guys to get a hit out.

“It gets to a place where the guys need to play and now’s the time.

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“We’ve got our different structures and skill set that we’ve been working away at, and just be able to see where the team’s at.

“I guess it’s bringing this stuff together you’ve been working on and it’s preparation for trying to be in a really good space Round One.”

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The Western Force have an exciting squad as well, and will be looking to make the playoffs this year after missing out last time.

Wallabies hooker Folau Fainga’a is a major addition for the Force this season, and will pack down in the scrum alongside the likes of Tom Robertson and Izack Rodda.

Former Reds midfielder Hamish Stewart has also moved to the west coast.

“(They’re) always a tough team to play, especially in Perth,” Thorn added.

“Got some good, quality players. Brought in some big names there with Folau Fainga’a… they’ll be putting together their stuff and this is an important game for them as well.”

The pre-season clash between the Western Force and Queensland Reds is set to kick off on Saturday afternoon at McGillivray Oval, Perth.

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