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Reds finalise 2013 Super Rugby EPS

The Reds have announced their EPS for the 2013 season

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Article Published: Tuesday 30 October 2012|

The Reds have announced their Extended Playing squad (EPS) for the 2013 Super Rugby squad.

Queensland's EPS for next season boasts new additions in backrower Jarrad Butler, lock Blake Enever and outside back Joel Faulkner along with returning members in front-rower Kevin Davis and playmaker UJ Seuteni.

All three new inclusions were former QAS Reds Academy members in 2011 before joining the inaugural National Academy when the development pathway changed in 2012.

Butler and Enever have been rewarded for their 2012 efforts where they were plucked out of the National Academy by Reds Director of Coaching Ewen McKenzie to make their Super Rugby debuts for an injury-hit Reds side late last season.

Enever got a small taste of Super Rugby when used as a replacement against the Melbourne Rebels in round 16 while Butler made his debut a week later against the Highlanders before earning his second Super Rugby cap in the Reds regular season finale against the NSW Waratahs.

Faulkner has a strong background with the Reds where he was member of the Reds Academy in 2010 and 2011 and will now offer the squad increased backline depth with his ability to cover fullback, centre and wing.

Seuteni remains the youngest member of the EPS and he will continue to develop his game at flyhalf after a 2012 year where he joined the group following his final year of schooling at The Southport School.

Davis also enters his second year in the EPS and will be aiming to build on the experience gained during his first year by offering further depth at both hooker and prop.

McKenzie said the 2013 EPS offered a good mix of experience and youth and would be crucial to the team's 2013 campaign.

"Last season proved that you need more than just 30 contracted players to survive in Super Rugby so it's important you have a strong group of players coming through the EPS as they will be forced to step up at some point during the year," McKenzie said.

"Nick Frisby and Albert Anae were two examples from last year's EPS who successfully made the transition into Super Rugby and have been rewarded with fulltime contracts for 2013.

"We're fortunate to have an EPS group next year that has a strong background with the Reds either through our former Academy system or in last year's EPS and we're confident they have the ability to follow the same pathway as both Nick and Albert."

The EPS will see all Australian provinces contract a further five players on top of their professional 30-man rosters.

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