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Reds’ Josh Flook ‘happy’ to play through pain as Wallaby jersey beckons

(Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

Josh Flook has backed himself to play through the pain as a Wallabies jersey beckons and the Queensland Reds plot a road-trip to the Super Rugby Pacific title.


The Reds’ No.13 has fought through an AC joint injury suffered against Moana Pasifika last month, rested from two of the side’s past five games in an attempt to manage the ailment.

The 22-year-old wincing in pain and grabbing at his shoulder after a tackle or fall has been a regular sight in the past month, but Flook has no plans to rest again and is confident the complaint will subside without surgery.

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“I’m not very good at just sitting back and watching, but it was probably needed just at this time of year, a little refresher,,” he said of missing the Reds’ last-round loss in Fiji.

“I’m happy to play through a bit of pain if you can help your mates beside you.

“But to chill for the week and refresh, that’s really helped.”

Flook was part of the Wallabies’ extended squad that was narrowed down before last year’s World Cup.

He thinks his game has matured since then as he eyes a potential Test debut against Wales in July.

The depth at No.12 is strong, but there are fewer options for the Wallabies in the position outside of that.


World Cup No.13 Jordan Petaia (shoulder) is injured, while Waratahs gun Izaia Perese has signed to play in England next year.

Brumbies No.13 Len Ikitau is an obvious contender, but the all-round skill set of Flook and his partnership with the rampaging Hunter Paisami is a compelling option.

“Yeah, you want to be able to take that step at some stage,” Flook said.

“I’ve matured as a player, have a bit more of a leadership role and started to find my voice, and … he (Paisami) is one of the best players in the comp at the moment, makes my life easier.”


The 22-year-old is set for his 50th Super game in Saturday’s penultimate regular-season round, against Western Force in Brisbane.

Winger Suliasi Vunivalu will miss the clash, copping a one-game suspension after his pair of trips earnt him a red card against the Drua.

Victory would lock in fifth place and a knockout quarter-final against the Chiefs in New Zealand, while also jeopardising the ninth-placed Force’s own finals hopes.

The Reds beat the Crusaders in Christchurch this season for the first time since 1999, beat the Chiefs in Brisbane and have lost games to the Blues, Hurricanes and Brumbies by a converted try or less.

“We just want to do the best we can,” Flook said.

“We’ve set no markers, but we’ve had some good games against (top-four sides) the Blues, Hurricanes, Brumbies and Chiefs.

“If you have a good game on the day, you know you’re going to go close.

“If we go across there (to New Zealand) we’ll take on that competition and love it.”


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