The Queanbeyan Blues will be chasing their fourth premiership in five years as they begin their 2018 campaign on Thursday against the Yass Magpies.
Where they excel
The Blues have one of the most lethal spines in the competition with the likes of Terry Campese, Adam Misios, Jake Wheeler and the new additions of Zac Patch and Cody Wynnik. The luxury for the Blues is that they have five quality players to fit into their spine and it will be up to Campese to work out the best combination.
Room to improve
The Blues have had a high turnover of players since their Grand Final win last September. The Blues have a new look forward pack and are missing key outside backs such as Thomas Ruediger and Brendon Taueki who will be difficult to replace. Kyle O’Donnell, Aaron McInnes and Scott Rutland are big losses to the forward pack although Aidan Woods and Aisea Taholo are quality replacements.
“It’s going to take a few weeks to get combinations right. Our backrow is different, our edges are different and our middle is different. I’m not expecting massive things from the start but as the season builds, hopefully we can get those combinations and start showing it on the field.
Reudiger was our marquee player and Taueki came second in our best and fairest, so you can’t replace guys like that but we’ve out guys there who have shown a lot of potential and will bring a lot of enthusiasm.” – Terry Campese
“The guy who I love to watch at training and what he’s done so far in the trials for us is young Zac Patch. He’s come from South Australia, was in the Raiders system last year and hopefully, with a bit of guidance and some help from myself, he’ll get back into the professional system. He has one of the best short passing games out of hooker that I have seen in a long time and I think he can go on to bigger and better things.” – Terry Campese
Gains and Losses
Gioele Celerino (Tully Tigers)
Aidan Woods (Queanbeyan Kangaroos)
Cody Wynnik (unattached)
Aisea Taholo (Queanbeyan Kangaroos)
Zac Patch (Canberra Raiders NYC)
Larry Manu (rugby union)
Aaron McInnes (retired)
Scott Rutland (retired)
Kyle O’Donnell (retired)
Brendon Taueki (unattached)
Brendon Spears (unattached)
Naseri Naseri (retired)
Mitch Day (unattached)
Thomas Ruediger (rugby union)