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Aidan Toua no overnight success for Queensland Reds

Queensland Reds flyer Aidan Toua.

Queensland Reds flyer Aidan Toua. Photo: Getty Images

Aidan Toua will be dubbed an overnight success if he stars against the Brumbies in the Super Rugby opener but his rise to Reds fullback has been 12 months in the planning and three years in the making.

Reds coach Richard Graham first earmarked the talented back as a potential long-term resident in the Reds number 15 jumper a year ago while Graham was an assistant under Ewen McKenzie.

The 24-year-old was on the comeback trail from yet another injury. Busted knees and temperamental hamstrings have constrained him to just five games in three seasons at Ballymore. The body could never deliver the potential.

With two trials under his belt and 16 games of club rugby to his name last year, Toua is hoping this is the year to finally make his mark in the top tier.

He will no doubt be given a tough start against the Brumbies on Saturday night, who are certain to test his ability under the high ball. Toua hopes to give them something to think about in return.

His natural instinct is to run and anyone who has seen the Reds trials this season knows how dangerous he can be when he is given even an inch of open space.

But the former Australian schoolboy star comes with a solid left boot and game management skills that have his coach convinced he is far more than just an open field sprinter.

‘‘I’ve been practising my high balls all week. I expect to receive a lot of kick returns. We’ve got plans in place and guys back there to put them off a bit. I guess you’ll see that on Saturday,’’ Toua said.

‘‘I like to think I’ve got a nice trusty left foot. I whip it out when I need to. My first action is to run but in different situations, you need to do different things. I try to play on instinct.’’

After working with Reds medical staff on his running mechanics, Toua finally feels as if he has his body under control. He’s starting to read the signs, like when he felt his hamstrings tense after the trial win against the Chiefs in Toowoomba.

It was better to be safe than sorry before he returned late in the Reds loss to the Rebels. Immediately, he had defenders grasping at air in a cameo that surely made up Graham’s mind about his first round fullback.

‘‘He’s been around the program for a number of years. But he thinks well about the game and he has experience in the back three. He’s an intelligent guy,’’ Graham said.

‘‘He’s got a good understanding and has worked hard to improve all aspects of his game across the pre-season, including the physical aspects. He’ll give a good account of himself this weekend.

‘‘I had him in my mind for the past 12 months really, based on what I’d seen of him previously. The key to Aidan is to continue to work hard. And he’s doing that.’’

Toua has spent enough time cursing his luck in rehab and now wants to give something back to the Reds, who have persevered with him despite fleeting appearances on the park.

‘‘It has been pretty tough over the past few years. But 2014 has started off really well and I’m just trying to forget about all that. I’ll try to stay out of  ladders and away from black cats,’’ Toua said.

‘‘It’s been a really long learning process. We’ve ticked quite a lot of boxes this pre-season. I’ve got a really good gauge of how my body reacts to different things.

‘‘I’ve had to build my patience. I won’t lie, it hasn’t been easy. But good things come to those who wait. It’s about capitalising on my opportunity this weekend.’’

Queensland Reds: Aidan Toua, Lachie Turner, Ben Tapuai, Mike Harris, Dom Shipperley, Quade Cooper, Will Genia, Jake Schatz, Liam Gill, Ed Quirk, James Horwill, Rob Simmons, Greg Holmes, Saia Fainga’a, James Slipper. Res: James Hanson, Ben Daley, Jono Owen, Ed ODonoghue, Beau Robinson, Nick Frisby, Anthony Fainga’a, Chris Feauai-Sautia.

1 comment so far

  • Go Aiden. For goodness sake Reds keep a close eye on that other Queensland boy Puss in Boots (aka Moggy). That cat is lightning.

    Commenter
    johnny-boy
    Date and time
    February 21, 2014, 9:46AM

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    Super Rugby 2015

    Round 1
    Fri, 13 FebTimes shown AEDT
    CRU 10 vs REB 20 Report Stats
    BRU 47 vs RED 3 Stats
    Sat, 14 FebTimes shown AEDT
    LIO 8 vs HUR 22 Stats
    BLU 18 vs CHF 23 Report Stats
    Sun, 15 FebTimes shown AEDT
    SHA 29 vs CHT 35 Stats
    BUL 17 vs STO 29 Stats
    WAR 13 vs FOR 25 Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 2
    Fri, 20 FebTimes shown AEDT
    CHF 19 vs BRU 17 Stats
    REB 28 vs WAR 38 Stats
    Sat, 21 FebTimes shown AEDT
    BUL 13 vs HUR 17 Stats
    HIG 20 vs CRU 26 Stats
    RED 18 vs FOR 6 Stats
    Sun, 22 FebTimes shown AEDT
    STO 27 vs BLU 16 Stats
    SHA 29 vs LIO 12 Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 3
    Fri, 27 FebTimes shown AEDT
    HIG 20 vs RED 13 Stats
    FOR 13 vs HUR 42 Stats
    Sat, 28 FebTimes shown AEDT
    CHT 25 vs BLU 24 Stats
    CHF 40 vs CRU 16 Stats
    REB 15 vs BRU 20 Stats
    Sun, 01 MarTimes shown AEDT
    BUL 43 vs SHA 35 Stats
    LIO 19 vs STO 22 Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 4
    Fri, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
    CHF vs HIG 17:35WS
    BRU vs FOR 19:40GIO Stadium
    Sat, 07 MarTimes shown AEDT
    BLU vs LIO 17:35QBE Stadium
    RED vs WAR 19:40SS
    Sun, 08 MarTimes shown AEDT
    CHT vs BUL 02:05FSS
    STO vs SHA 04:10DHL Newlands
    View All Fixtures
    Round 5
    Fri, 13 MarTimes shown AEDT
    HUR vs BLU 17:35FMG Stadium
    FOR vs REB 22:00nib Stadium
    Sat, 14 MarTimes shown AEDT
    CRU vs LIO 14:30AMI
    HIG vs WAR 17:35FBS
    RED vs BRU 19:40SS
    Sun, 15 MarTimes shown AEDT
    STO vs CHF 00:00DHL Newlands
    CHT vs SHA 02:05FSS
    View All Fixtures
    Round 6
    Fri, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
    HIG vs HUR 17:35FBS
    REB vs LIO 19:40AAMI
    Sat, 21 MarTimes shown AEDT
    CRU vs CHT 17:35AMI
    Sun, 22 MarTimes shown AEDT
    BUL vs FOR 02:05Loftus Versfeld
    SHA vs CHF 04:10Growthpoint Kings Park
    WAR vs BRU 16:05AS
    View All Fixtures
    Round 7
    Fri, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
    HUR vs REB 17:35WS
    RED vs LIO 20:00SS
    Sat, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
    CHF vs CHT 14:30WS
    HIG vs STO 17:35FBS
    WAR vs BLU 19:40AS
    Sun, 29 MarTimes shown AEDT
    SHA vs FOR 02:05Growthpoint Kings Park
    BUL vs CRU 04:10Loftus Versfeld
    View All Fixtures
    Round 8
    Fri, 03 AprTimes shown AEDT
    HUR vs STO 18:35WS
    REB vs RED 20:40AAMI
    Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
    CHF vs BLU 18:35WS
    BRU vs CHT 20:40GIO Stadium
    Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEDT
    SHA vs CRU 01:00Growthpoint Kings Park
    LIO vs BUL 02:05Emirates Airlines Park
    View All Fixtures
    Round 9
    Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
    BLU vs BRU 18:35EP
    Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
    CRU vs HIG 18:35AMI
    WAR vs STO 20:40AS
    FOR vs CHT 22:45nib Stadium
    Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
    BUL vs RED 00:00Loftus Versfeld
    LIO vs SHA 02:05Emirates Airlines Park
    View All Fixtures
    Round 10
    Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
    CRU vs CHF 18:35AMI
    Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
    HUR vs WAR 15:30WS
    HIG vs BLU 18:35FBS
    BRU vs REB 20:40GIO Stadium
    FOR vs STO 22:45nib Stadium
    Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
    SHA vs BUL 02:05Growthpoint Kings Park
    CHT vs RED 04:10FSS
    View All Fixtures
    Round 11
    Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
    CHF vs FOR 18:35WS
    BRU vs HIG 20:40GIO Stadium
    Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
    CRU vs BLU 18:35AMI
    WAR vs REB 20:40ANZ
    Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
    LIO vs CHT 02:05Emirates Airlines Park
    STO vs BUL 04:10DHL Newlands
    RED vs HUR 17:05SS
    View All Fixtures
    Round 12
    Fri, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
    HIG vs SHA 18:35FBS
    BRU vs WAR 20:40GIO Stadium
    Sat, 02 MayTimes shown AEST
    BLU vs FOR 16:30EP
    HUR vs CRU 18:35WS
    REB vs CHF 20:40AAMI
    Sun, 03 MayTimes shown AEST
    CHT vs STO 02:05FSS
    BUL vs LIO 04:10Loftus Versfeld
    View All Fixtures
    Round 13
    Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
    CRU vs RED 18:35AMI
    REB vs BLU 20:40AAMI
    Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
    HUR vs SHA 18:35WS
    FOR vs WAR 20:40nib Stadium
    Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
    LIO vs HIG 00:00Emirates Airlines Park
    STO vs BRU 02:05DHL Newlands
    View All Fixtures
    Round 14
    Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
    BLU vs BUL 18:35EP
    RED vs REB 20:40SS
    Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
    HUR vs CHF 18:35WS
    WAR vs SHA 20:40AS
    Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
    LIO vs BRU 02:05Emirates Airlines Park
    CHT vs HIG 04:10FSS
    View All Fixtures
    Round 15
    Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
    CHF vs BUL 18:35Rotorua International Stadium
    RED vs SHA 20:40SS
    Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
    BLU vs HUR 18:35Emirates Airlines Park
    WAR vs CRU 20:40ANZ
    FOR vs HIG 22:45nib Stadium
    Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
    CHT vs LIO 02:05FSS
    STO vs REB 04:10DHL Newlands
    View All Fixtures
    Round 16
    Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
    CRU vs HUR 18:35Trafalgar Park
    BRU vs BUL 20:40GIO Stadium
    Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
    SHA vs REB 04:10Growthpoint Kings Park
    HIG vs CHF 18:35Rugby Park
    FOR vs RED 20:40nib Stadium
    Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
    STO vs CHT 02:05DHL Newlands
    LIO vs WAR 04:10Emirates Airlines Park
    View All Fixtures
    Round 17
    Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
    HUR vs HIG 18:35McLean Park
    FOR vs BRU 22:00nib Stadium
    Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
    REB vs BUL 16:30AAMI
    BLU vs CRU 18:35EP
    RED vs CHF 20:40SS
    Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
    CHT vs WAR 00:00FSS
    STO vs LIO 02:05DHL Newlands
    View All Fixtures
    Round 18
    Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
    BLU vs HIG 18:35EP
    REB vs FOR 20:40AAMI
    Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
    BRU vs CRU 16:30GIO Stadium
    CHF vs HUR 18:35Yarrow Stadium
    WAR vs RED 20:40AS
    Sun, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
    BUL vs CHT 02:05Loftus Versfeld
    SHA vs STO 04:10Growthpoint Kings Park
    View All Fixtures
    Round 19
    Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
    7 vs 7 10:00
    Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
    7 vs 7 10:00
    View All Fixtures
    Round 20
    Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
    7 vs 7 10:00
    Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
    7 vs 7 10:00
    View All Fixtures
    Round 21
    Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
    7 vs 7 10:00
    View All Fixtures
    Super Rugby 2015
    Overall standings
    Team P W L D +/- Pts
    Brumbies 3 2 1 0 47 10
    Hurricanes 3 3 0 0 47 13
    Stormers 3 3 0 0 26 12
    Cheetahs 2 2 0 0 7 9
    Chiefs 3 3 0 0 31 13
    Rebels 3 1 2 0 -5 6
    Highlanders 2 1 1 0 1 5
    Sharks 3 1 2 0 3 6
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