Backline power excites star Reds recruit Turner
FORMER Waratahs winger Lachie Turner hopes the array of backline stars at the Queensland Reds will get the best out of him this year.
Turner has been named on the wing for his debut in a Reds jersey against two-time champions the Chiefs in Toowoomba tomorrow night.
Sitting on the bench will be fellow outside backs Rod Davies, Chris Feauai-Sautia and debutant Jonah Placid.
Placid, 18, is a Toowoomba Grammar School graduate and has been talked up as one of Australia's most exciting junior rugby players.
"Competition for spots is something that's really good for a squad, and if you want to go on and be a successful side I think it's something you need to have," Turner said.
"We've got a lot of guys who are pushing for positions, we've got guys who are first year out of school like Jonah Placid, who is pushing for a fullback spot."
Turner said he had been blown away by the high standards the team had set under new coach Richard Graham.
Just last week five-eighth Quade Cooper told APN his team wanted to replicate its 2011 championship-winning form, and Turner echoed those thoughts yesterday.
"I think everyone's on the same page. We want to win the title and we want to be a multiple winner," he said.
"I think it is a confident group, and when you've got that much confidence and that much skill behind you, I'm sure it can only lead one way."
Placid, who will have a big support group of family and friends on hand, said he had experienced some pre-game jitters after being named in the 28-man squad.
"When I saw my name up on the board I was nervous and scared, but I'm over that now," he said.
Graham said he was expecting a high-quality showing from his team full of Wallabies players, including Cooper, Will Genia and captain James Horwill.
"The weather should be good, the humidity doesn't seem as high, so I'd like to think that their handling is going to be good," the new coach said.
The former Western Force mentor also said he was keen to see how Ben Tapuai went at outside centre.
"At this point, I'm looking at Ben as a 13, but in the back of my mind I also know he's played Test football at 12," Graham said
Reds regulars Ben Lucas, Anthony Fainga'a and Beau Robinson will all miss the game with injuries.