Wright steps up for Reds

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The Reds have only won the Super Rugby title once, in 2011, but the new captain, appointed after an innovative selection process, wants to lead the Reds back to the 'big time'.

 

Born in South Africa, and a member of Australia's Under-20 team in 2016 and 2017, Wright, 22, an open-side flanker, made his Test debut last season on Eden Park against the All Blacks.

 

With Samu Kerevi's captaincy reign ending as a result of his transfer to Japan, the Reds' administration decided to pursue a selection process to find a captain for 2020.

 

Coach Brad Thorn, the Reds general manager of professional rugby Sam Cordingley, chief executive David Hanham and Olympian and performance consultant Bo Hansen were part of the panel that interviewed potential candidates.

 

Thorn made the final recommendation to the Queensland Rugby Union which then applied the rubber stamp.

 

Thorn, a World Cup-winning All Black in 2011, said Wright was a respected leader in the side. The decision had not been easy but Wright had come through the process.

 

"There's many emerging leaders in the group but he was the guy that we ended up with and it's a real honour for Liam and his family – you think of all the captains for Queensland over the years – and I'm proud for him and pleased for him, and so's the team," he said.

 

Wright said he felt ready to take on the captaincy role.

 

"I've played with these boys for a long time and done a lot of training with them and I'm really happy to have their support and I think that's quite necessary for them to back me for me to do my job to the best of my potential," he said.

 

"We went through a pretty big process this year, so there were a lot of things to tick off and boxes to tick, so when Thorny told me, I was just incredibly proud."

 

Thorn was aware of Wright's leadership ability having coached him when Queensland won Australia's Under-20 title in 2017.

 

Wright was part of the Wallabies camp in 2017, playing his first game against the Barbarians when making the November northern tour as a development player. That was before he made his Super Rugby debut in 2018.

 

In 2019 he demonstrated his growing stature in the side when playing all but 12 minutes of the Reds' season.

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