Tune out of Reds' South Africa tour
April 12, 2000
Wallaby winger Ben Tune's comeback plans were put on hold on Wednesday after he was left out of Queensland's rugby Super 12 trip to South Africa.
The Reds selected a 25-man squad for their games against the Sharks in Durban on April 22 and the Cats in Johannesburg a week later. Tune hoped to resume in the second game but Reds officials thought he should spend more time recovering from an ankle ligament injury he sustained last month.
The Reds head for Durban on Saturday after Friday night's match in Brisbane against another South African side The Stormers.
While Tune will stay home, veteran prop Dan Crowley has been given a chance to revive his Queensland career with selection in the squad to South Africa. The World Cup squad member, who has played 120 games for the Reds, was overlooked at the start of the season for former New South Wales prop Fletcher Dyson and had not even made the Reds reserve bench before being called up for South Africa.
Flanker Scott Fava and winger Steve Kefu will also join the regular Queensland team in South Africa. Queensland coach John Connolly expects to have Tune back in action for the match against the ACT Brumbies in Canberra on May 6.
The results of the Reds next three matches against South African opposition will decide whether they have any hope of reaching the Super 12 semi-finals. The Stormers are certainly in contention after back-to-back wins in New Zealand against Auckland and Waikato.
But Stormers coach Alan Solomons rates Friday night's encounter at Ballymore as the toughest assignment of his team's Australasian odyssey.
"Look at the Reds side - it's half the team that won Australia the World Cup last year," Solomons said. "I always thought that this would be our hardest game."
The Stormers are still undecided over whether to play Springbok fullback Percy Montgomery, who has missed the past two games with an ankle injury and has only been named on the bench.