Rugby Union


Genia, Horwill on track for return

Queensland Reds' director of coaching Ewen McKenzie says Will Genia's recovery from a knee reconstruction appears ahead of schedule but cannot confirm when he will unleash the halfback in the new Super Rugby season.

And McKenzie said James Horwill (hamstring) was "on track" to start the season but could not guarantee the recovering captain a nod in the pre-season program.

McKenzie was pleased with the Reds' progress ahead of their trials against the Blues in Toowoomba on February 2 and Super Rugby champions, the Chiefs, on the Sunshine Coast six days later.

He said the only major injury concern was Genia, who went under the knife after going down against South Africa in the Rugby Championship in September.

Genia's worst-case scenario was reportedly a round-six return but McKenzie seemed to expect his general back well before then.

"I don't have a fixed date (for his return) but he has tracked very well," McKenzie said.


"His rehab has been perfect. We just have to make sure we don't have any setbacks - he will be right when he is right. But he has been good, possibly ahead of schedule."

McKenzie was also buoyed by having Horwill back on the training paddock after being without his skipper since round 13 last year.

But the Reds' boss seemed wary of using his captain in the trials ahead of a tough Super Rugby opener against the Brumbies in Canberra on February 16.

"He (Horwill) is on track - we haven't rushed him. It's been methodical and very positive," he said of his captain's progress.

"(But) we haven't picked trial teams yet. We have to give opportunities for guys around the edges so we will manage that.

"And we know we have a tough start to the season with the Brumbies. We will have a look at it."