Reds preview 2013
By Tony Curtis - Follow me on Twitter @SkysportsTC. Last Updated: 12/02/13 9:51am
The 2011 champions were another side to rue their early season troubles. A run of six wins in their final six games saw them gatecrash the play-offs and snatch the Australian Conference title.
However their challenge was ended by the Sharks in disappointing fashion at the Suncorp Stadium.
Super Rugby returns
Injuries hit the Reds hard, though, throughout the season - with Quade Cooper and James Horwill notable loses.
And although those two will be back in action this time around, the Reds will be missing the little maestro Will Genia for the opening five rounds. That means Ben Lucas and the highly-rated Nick Frisby will have to fill the void in the interim.
Coach Ewen McKenzie has kept his transfer dealings to a minimum with Jono Owen the only signing on the field, with the experience of Horwill, Genia, Cooper, James Slipper, Radike Samo and Dom Shipperley complimented by a talented array of youngsters - such as Ben Tapuai, Jake Schatz, Aidan Toua and Chris F'Sautia.
Off the pitch, though, McKenzie has brought in former Wester Force boss Richard Graham.