With the departure of Reds captain Samu Kerevi to Japanese membership rugby and Duncan Paia’aua to France, the Reds have a really massive gap to fill at inside centre.
A lot of present Reds gamers have the power to play No.12, resembling Isaac Lucas, Matt McGahan and Hamish Stewart. Nevertheless, none of them convey the type of highly effective ball-running mixed with the standard expertise that Kerevi brings to the place, which is a serious asset to any rugby staff.
However do the Reds have another choice of their newly acquired winger and generally outdoors centre, the skilled Wallaby Henry Speight from the Brumbies?
At 31, Speight isn’t any spring hen, which is a consideration for the Reds teaching employees when fascinated by the place to play him. He would possibly lose a few of the elite velocity required to play winger whereas he’s on the Reds, which wouldn’t matter if he was enjoying No.12.
Additionally, he has moved to Brisbane for household causes and whereas he has all the time come throughout as a dedicated skilled, a brand new problem for a participant who has already finished all of it on the worldwide stage might be be refreshing for his enthusiasm.
Lastly, enjoying inside centre would possibly add to Speight’s marketability and lengthen his profession if he desires to finally take a contract at an abroad membership.
Speight has a ability set to convey to the Reds’ No.12 jersey that not one of the different candidates to interchange Kerevi can supply. Whereas Kerevi is a wrecking ball, Speight is a fireplace cracker. He’s extremely fast off the mark, has quick ft, unimaginable leg drive and is powerful in touch, making him very tough for any defender to comprise.
He additionally has a wonderful offload and has a succesful brief kicking sport, which he may make use of extra typically at No.12. Of the potential replacements for Kerevi, he has probably the most potential to satisfy Kerevi’s attacking position by getting them throughout the benefit line, sucking in defenders and getting the ball away for these outdoors him to use.
Speight can also be an excellent defender, with the second highest sort out completion fee of the Brumbies backs in 2019 at 77 per cent and has breakdown expertise that almost all wingers don’t, having pressured a number of ruck and maul turnovers and penalties this season.
In defence he would more than likely be higher than Kerevi was for the Reds and will make a giant contribution in direction of enhancing the Reds’ defence in 2020, which may nonetheless do with plenty of enchancment from the 2019 effort.
Lastly, of all of the candidates accessible on the Reds or accessible to recruit from elsewhere, Speight is the one one who would convey a minimum of 19 Check matches value of expertise to the again line.
Having a participant who’s used to maintaining a peaceful head within the furnace of worldwide rugby within the pivotal No.12 position – and who can present that instance and steerage to the much less skilled Reds backs – might be simply the factor the Queenslanders want to show the tight losses that they’ve conceded in 2019 into wins and a finals runs in 2020.
Speight has all of the qualities essential to fill the hole at No.12, with out having to half with more money buying one other participant.
It could be nice to see Speight, the Reds and their supporters get probably the most out his stick with the membership by means of imaginative use of his expertise and expertise.