NSW defector Turner will look to play fullback
October 9, 2013
Lachie Turner will get a chance to face his former Waratahs teammates when the Reds play the Waratahs in March © Getty Images
The Queensland Reds will trial NSW wing recruit Lachie Turner at fullback as they plan to boost their flagging attack with extra speed. A surprise defector from the Waratahs after two injury-affected Super Rugby seasons, Turner made a fresh start as a Red on Tuesday at the first day of pre-season training.
Turner revealed it was his desire to combine with the likes of Will Genia and Quade Cooper in a Test-laden backline that sparked his two-year deal. "It was a big inspiration for me in coming up here, a big reason for it," he said.
Turner said new coach Richard Graham's expansive vision also "sold" him on the move after a torn hamstring and broken leg ruined his 2012 and 2013 seasons. Kurtley Beale's return to the Waratahs may have made it tougher to return to NSW's back three. But the 26-year-old knows he'll have a tough job to earn and keep his Reds' spot with Dom Shipperley and Chris Feauai-Sautia boasting wing Test caps and Rod Davies to return from a knee reconstruction.
However, Graham foreshadowed a possible move away from the sideline where he's been viewed as France-bound Digby Ioane's replacement. "I'd like to see how he trains over the next three months," the coach said. "I see him playing 15 equally as well as he does on the wing. The Reds want to play an exciting brand and Lachie with his skill set - he's a big man, he's tall, he's quick and loves being involved in the game - will really suit our game in that outside channel."
Turner interchanged between fullback and wing in his first two seasons at the Waratahs in 2008-09 and is open to the move. If he did beat the likes of Ben Lucas, Aidan Toua and Mike Harris to fullback, it would give them a super-pacey back three and also force Cooper to defend in the front line. The mercurial five-eighth has muscled up at No.10 for the Wallabies in the past four Tests and Graham said he's never harboured concerns about Cooper's tackling.
A bigger worry for Reds fans has been the loss of their try-scoring potency from the 2011 title triumph, lighting up the code as competition entertainers. Last season, they scored the fourth least tries of all teams with just 31 from 17 matches as stout defence saw them finish fifth. Graham argued only slight changes were required, starting with better interplay between forwards and backs.
Communication error please reload the page.
FA vice-chairman David Gill claims that England could bid for the 2030 World Cup if FIFA is able to prove that the bidding process is transparent
FIFA whistleblower Bonita Mersiades has urged leading European clubs to put pressure on world football's governing body to reform
Steve Stricker intends to play the Masters next week, his first competition since back surgery four months ago
Bernie Ecclestone has suggested the creation of an all-female world championship to run alongside Formula One to encourage more women to enter the sport
Lionel Messi has been the best performing forward in Europe's elite leagues in 2015, according to a CIES Football Observatory study, while it ranked Cristiano Ronaldo only 29th among forwards
Maurice Hamilton looks through the reaction of the British press to Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari returning to winning ways at the Malaysian Grand Prix
Concussion, relegation and the mother of all surprises - it's the Monday Maul.
After a 10-year break in the fixture, England and Italy have faced each other three times in as many seasons, with one win each and a draw
Queensland are worth watching again, even if victory over the Lions would have papered over cracks, because Quade Cooper is back in the No.10 jersey, Greg Growden writes
In a exciting return from injury, Quade Cooper thrilled fans to become Player of the Round, while a new star now leads the medal tally
Six months after being victim of a machete attack that left him fearing for his life, Kell Brook dished out a vicious attack of his own in his a first world title defence
Kell Brook is not waiting for Amir Khan to make up his mind about fighting him and hopes to face either Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez or American Brandon Rios this summer
Patrick Kluivert has revealed he did not follow Louis van Gaal to Manchester United as his No.2 last summer as he was holding out for a managerial role instead
Luis Suarez received a rapturous reception as he made his first return to Anfield since joining Barcelona, playing the second half of a charity game between sides captained by Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher
Danny Welbeck believes signing for Arsenal has helped him to improve his international form for England
Rory McIlroy walked off at the Honda Classic. What next for the Northern Irishman?
Join Steve Bunce and Barry Jones each week for the latest news, views and debate from the boxing world.
Who has driven in the most GPs before taking pole position?
Unbeaten heavyweight Dillian Whyte, 28, (14-0, 11 KOs) tells ESPN where his rivalry with Anthony Joshua stems from and outlines the plan for his career this year after returning from a doping ban in November
Miroslav Klose scored goals in the World Cup final tournaments of 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014. Has anyone else scored World Cup goals 12 years apart?