Latham still optimistic of early return




QR Queensland Reds fullback Chris Latham remains hopeful of a return to action against the Bulls at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday week, despite medical advice to the contrary.

Latham suffered painful rib cartilage damage playing for Australia in the Commonwealth Games Sevens, forcing him to miss the Reds’ three week tour of South Africa.

He’s been told a return could be as long as three weeks away, but Latham is targeting an Easter Saturday return to the Tooheys New Super 14 competition.

‘I’m hoping for the Bulls game, or at least the Stormers a week later (April 21 at Suncorp),’ Latham said.

Reds’ lock/back rower Hugh McMeniman is an unlikely starter for the Bulls game because of a continuing problem with a jammed nerve in his shoulder.

He’s being forced to play a waiting game after being told by a specialist that he will need more time to allow the fickle injury to right itself.

McMeniman will be re-examined by the team doctor when the squad returns from South Africa next week.

Meanwhile the QRU is hoping Brisbane will give retired fly half and former Reds captain Elton Flatley a big thank you at the April 21 game, the last for the Reds at Suncorp Stadium. Their last game of the season will be against the Highlanders in Townsville on May 12.

‘April 21 will be Brisbane’s chance to say ‘Farewell Flats’ and thanks for the memories,’ said QRU CEO Theo Psaros.

‘Elton has been a wonderful player for Queensland and Australian rugby and deserves a proper farewell,’ said Psaros.

Flatley played what turned out to be his last game at Suncorp against the Western Force on March 11, when he suffered a recurrence of the blurred vision that finally convinced him it was time to retire.

‘No-one except perhaps Elton himself knew at the time that that was his last game, so we didn’t get the champion’s farewell he deserved. We’ll make it up to him at halftime in the Stormers’ game,’ said Psaros.

‘We’ve made a special two-for-one ticket offer to the rugby community for that match and the Easter Saturday game against the Bulls, so that’s double the reason to get along to support the Reds,’ he said.

Details of the two for one rugby community ticket offer at , ‘go to the game’ link.

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