Slipper to lead Queensland Reds

Slipper to lead Queensland Reds

James Slipper has been appointed Queensland Reds captain for 2015, with Karmichael Hunt and Rob Simmons his deputies.

The 25-year-old takes over from the state's most capped captain, James Horwill, who is heading to English side Harlequins at the end of the 2015 season.

Queensland Reds captain James Slipper.

Queensland Reds captain James Slipper.Credit:Getty Images

In a year where the Reds are looking to regenerate, the shift to a new leadership group seems a symbol of the new Queensland era.

The prop is coming off one of the best seasons of his career, culminating in an outstanding stint for the Wallabies in the Spring Tour.


Slipper is a home grown rugby product, coming out of The Southport School and said he was honoured to be able to lead the club where he has played his entire career and supported for most of his life.

"It's a very proud moment, very humbling moment," he said.

"The Queensland Reds are a team I have followed for my rugby career and a team I've always supported.

"To be able to have this privilege to captain such as prestigious club is something I'll always take with me."

Slipper will have a familiar face by his side, with Simmons a teammate of his since Under 15s, while Hunt is yet to play a game for the Reds.

Reds coach Richard Graham said Slipper was an obvious choice for the captaincy.

"No man in the team deserves it more than James," he said.

"He has a huge amount of respect within the team."

Horwill said he would be forever grateful to the Reds for taking a punt on him as a 22 year-old, with the Reds' longest-serving captain experiencing both wooden spoons and championships with the team that he has bled so much passion into over his nine years at the Reds.

"It's a weird feeling," he said.

"The organisation put its faith in a 22-year-old hot head, who didn't spent much time on the field and spent more time off the field.

"I guess I said to myself when I got given the captaincy that I would leave in a better place and I feel I've done that."

Graham paid tribute to Horwill, who was handed the captaincy as a 22-year-old and has experienced both wooden spoons and championships with the side.

"It's fair to say his pride in the red jersey is second to none and I think the way he's lead the team over the last eight years leaves the role and the team in a good position."

With Horwill still around Ballymore for another season, Graham said his ability to mentor Slipper would be vital in 2015.

"The benefit of having James here is the ability to mentor in a live capacity in games but also retrospectively, post games and throughout the week."

The big casualty of the change is Will Genia, who has been a part of the Reds leadership group for the past five years.

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