A Set small text size A Set the default text size A Set large text size Queensland’s hopes of claiming the Super Rugby AU title this year have taken a massive hit after Liam Wright was ruled out for ten weeks with a syndesmosis injury. The Reds captain sustained the injury to his left ankle in Friday night’s trial loss to the Waratahs. A ten-week recovery would see Wright available for the pointy end of the season – he’d be back in time for the final round of the regular season as well as the finals. However, his absence for almost all of the home-and-away season is a major blow for the side. The 23-year-old has established himself as one of the most respected leaders in Australian rugby since being handed the Queensland captaincy, as well as one of the country’s top flankers. Along with Fraser McReight and Harry Wilson, Wright formed the most potent back row in Super Rugby AU last year. Angus Scott-Young seems the most likely replacement for Wright on the side of the scrum, having started a number of games at blindside flanker in 2020, however the Reds’ other captaincy options are somewhat limited. James O’Connor emerged as one of the side’s leaders last year, however off-season reports that he was exploring a move to Super Rugby Aotearoa with the Chiefs may have scuppered his chances of taking the captaincy. Given the Reds had no qualms making Wright skipper at such a young age, they may opt to give McReight the job on an interim basis. While just 21, the number seven captained the Junior Wallabies to the final of the Under 20 World Championship in 2019, and has been touted as a future leader. Wright’s injury is the second major pre-season casualty of the weekend, after Brumbies speedster Tom Wright was ruled out for six weeks. The winger, one of the leading try-scorers in 2020, suffered bone bruising at training and will miss the first half of the season as a result.
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