Super Rugby
Jones critical of Reds' fitness, lack of variety
ESPN Staff
April 19, 2014
Will Genia is crunched in a tackle, Reds v Western Force, Super Rugby, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, April 5, 2014
Will Genia is under too much pressure in attack, according to Eddie Jones © Getty Images

Former Wallabies coach Eddie Jones believes The Queensland Reds' struggles are down to a lack of fitness and an over-reliance on their halves in attack.

Writing in his News Limited column, Jones said the Reds appeared more like a northern hemisphere side and needed more players to take the burden off Will Genia and Quade Cooper.

"They lack running fitness and look like a team conditioned for northern hemisphere rugby," he wrote in his News Limited column. "At the moment, the forwards are playing off Genia and the backs, wide and deep, off Cooper. The Reds can't beat the Aussie teams who prepare well for this. The Western Force did an excellent job of closing down Genia. To give the attack more variety, inside centre Anthony Fainga'a needs to find his short-passing game, which he had two years ago, to give the attack another option."

"Cooper is lacking for attacking options around him. He needs backrowers Ed Quirk, Jake Schatz and Beau Robinson to present him with options and have the tight five forwards play off Genia. The Reds' kicking is predictable with Genia handling duties inside the 22 and Cooper outside the 22."

Jones considers, though, that the current Queensland set-up is more suited to New Zealand opponents.

"I fancy the Reds can reignite their season when they fly to New Zealand next week to play the Hurricanes and Blues," he wrote. "The Kiwi teams are not so tactically savvy. That contributed to the Reds' excellent effort in winning all four matches when pitted against Kiwi athleticism last year. The fitness area will not be fixed this season so he will need to have thoughtful discussions with his strength and conditioning staff on what went wrong."

After a bye in round 10, the Reds travel to Wellington to take on the Hurricanes on April 26.

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