Izack Rodda wasn’t sure what more he could’ve done to win the Queensland Reds captaincy this season.
Rodda missed both trial matches following off-season ankle surgery but is fit and expected to play against the Brumbies in their Canberra opener.
After deputising for now-departed captain Samu Kerevi last season, Rodda was surprisingly pipped for the Reds’ top job by 22-year-old backrower Wright.
“At first it was a pretty hard pill to swallow,” vice-captain Rodda told AAP.
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“It left me questioning what else I had to do to get it.
“But we all got sat down and explained why and it made it easier to take and I learnt a lot from that.”
The 23-year-old Rodda’s selflessness was a big reason he was tipped for the job in the first place.
But that, and his appreciation of the selection process, have helped him move on.
“It was an open playing field; you got to say your bit and I have complete faith they picked the right guy for the job and 100 per cent back that.
“It’s hard to swallow your pride, but if it’s best for the team then I’m 100 per cent here for it.”
Rodda thinks that mentality is a clear strength as the side chases a return to the finals for the first time since 2013.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) January 26, 2020
“It’s time we do go well and there’s no limit to what we can achieve if we stay hungry,” he said.
“We’re a very close team, we get along, travel well and there is that good vibe you don’t get in certain teams.”
That close bond will be put to the test in a torrid opening three weeks that features a road trip from Canberra to Argentina via South Africa to play the Brumbies, Lions and Jaguares before their first home game on February 22.
Former Wallaby wing Henry Speight is one of the Reds’ best pick-ups for the season ahead:
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