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New Reds skipper not worried about captain's injury curse

By AAP
(Photo by Will Russell/Getty Images)

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Fraser McReight says it’s a thrill to captain the Queensland Reds for the first time in Saturday’s Super Rugby Pacific clash against Fijian Drua despite the fate of his predecessors in the role.

Flanker McReight will become the Reds’ fourth captain in four games this season when he leads the team out on Suncorp Stadium after injuries befell Liam Wright, Tate McDermott and Lukhan Salakaia-Loto.

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That attrition rate has got whispers of a curse on the captaincy at Ballymore but McReight says he’s just thrilled to have been given the nod by coach Brad Thorn.

“It got brought up again when Thorny told me and obviously the boys have given me a bit of stick here and there,” McReight said.

“I’ve heard it from a lot of people about the captain’s curse. You can’t really think about it too much.

“Rugby is a bit of a fickle game, anything can happen out on the field.

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“I’m not too superstitious, I’m not really worried about that whatsoever. But I’ll go out there – hopefully strap my ankles and my thumbs, stuff like that, to negate that.”

Despite an injury toll that also includes Angus Scott-Young (knee) and Alex Mafi (neck), the Reds go into Saturday’s game with a 3-0 record after last week’s win over the Western Force in Perth.

The Fijians are also on a high after claiming their first-ever Super Rugby Pacific win last weekend against the hapless Melbourne Rebels.

Thorn has urged McReight not to attempt to reinvent the wheel as captaincy and focus on leading by example.

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“Fraser gets an opportunity … he’s showed leadership at NRC and 20s so here’s a little opportunity for him,” Thorn said.

“Valued member of the group and he’s been playing some good footy.

“Number one thing we’re about here is actions.

“You can be quite a quiet person and I still see you as a leader at this club. Actions speak and then words have meaning and are respected.”

The Reds have also shifted Jordan Petaia to fullback, moving in-form Jock Campbell to the wing in the process.

Thorn says the move is purely to give Petaia a run in the No.15 jersey and dismissed concern it could alter Campbell’s impressive recent form.

“It’s one game,” he said.

“That’s a position he (Petaia) would like to play and here’s an opportunity for him.

“We’ll see where that’s at at halftime and move on from there.”

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