Walker rushed into Reds squad for Lions match




The QR Queensland Reds newest recruit Andrew Walker has been named on the bench for tomorrow night’s Investec Super 14 clash against the Lions at Suncorp Stadium (kickoff 8:15pm).

Walker, 33, had been playing with French second division club Gaillac but was given a release to return home with his family to take up a two year contract with the Reds and be reunited with Coach Eddie Jones.

“It’s a great honour to come back and finish my career in the top level of playing rugby in Australia,” he said today at a news conference at QRU headquarters.

“Eddie’s been a mate to me since I was 17 so it’s an honour to finish off my career with him.”

The former Wallaby will provide experience in the Reds young backline.

“We’ve got a lot of young blokes and with my experience I’m hoping I can help them out.

“It takes 15 to win a game and I’m just happy to be part of the Reds and go from there”.

Walker, who will spend the next day reading up on Jones’ playbook, is excited about the challenge of Super 14 rugby.

“I’ve got match fitness; it’s just the speed of the game I’ve got to see tomorrow night.

“I’m really looking forward to the challenge.”

Jones said Walker’s inclusion in the team will be invaluable.

“It means we’ve got another support player there.

“Andrew can play at wing or at fullback; I’ve seen him play his best rugby probably at wing but we’ll have a look at him at fullback and see how he goes”.

Lions No 8 will be playing his 50th Super Rugby match tomorrow night.

Gates open at 4:00pm with an early curtain raiser match between the Reds Academy and NSW A (kickoff 4:10pm).

This will be followed by the “2006 grand final replay” Wests v Brothers in round one of Queensland Premier Rugby at 5:55pm.

The Investec Super 14 match between the QR Queensland Reds and the Lions starts at 8:15pm.

Just before kickoff former Chocolate Starfish front man Adam Thompson will perform the new QR Queensland Reds Vodafone rugby anthem for fans at Suncorp Stadium.

Thompson helped the Reds write and record the song during the off-season and will perform it with choral backing.

The QR Queensland Reds team is:

1. Ben Coutts
2. Sean Hardman
3. Rodney Blake
4. Ed O’Donoghue
5. James Horwill
6. Mitch Chapman
7. David Croft
8. John Roe (c)
9. Nic Berry
10. Quade Cooper
11. Brando Va’alu
12. Berrick Barnes
13. Ben Tune
14. Henari Veratau
15. Clinton Schifcofske

16. Ole Avei
17. Herman Hunt
18. Cam Treloar
19. Tom McVerry
20. Will Genia
21. Charlie Fetoai
22. Andrew Walker

The Lions team is:

1 Heinke van der Merwe
2 Willie Wepener
3 Bertus Smit
4 Cobus Grobler
5 Anton van Zyl
6 Cobus Grobbelaar
7 Ernst Joubert (c)
8 Jacques Cronje
9 Enrico Januarie
10 Jaco van Schalkwyk
11 Jaco Pretorius
12 Doppies La Grange
13 Jaque Fourie
14 Wylie Human
15 Earl Rose

16 Ethienne Reynecke
17 Brian Mujati
18 Franco van der Merwe
19 Willem Alberts
20 Jano Vermaak
21 Andre Pretorius
22 Jannie Boshoff

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