GPS improver Chris Kuridrani heads a host of wingers eager to prove they should be in the Reds revival plans for Super Rugby.
The best from club land have the perfect showcase to push their cause in the Premier Rugby finals and the new nine-round Buildcorp National Rugby Championship.
That’s certainly the way Kuridrani, 22, Sunnybank stepper Junior Laloifi, 19, and University speedster Harry Parker, 21, have sized it up as wingers selected for Brisbane City.
Kuridrani has the taste and the headstart after making his Reds debut in the final five minutes of the last-round clash against the NSW Waratahs a month ago.
“I count myself as lucky with those five minutes and the games ahead are a chance to really show what I’ve got,” Kuridrani said.
“Training with the Reds this year has definitely built my fitness, improved my ball carries and pushed me to work more off the ball.”
Parting ways with regulars Dom Shipperley, Rod Davies and Aidan Toua means it will take more than prized signing James O’Connor to fill the void in the Reds ranks at wing and fullback.
The 99kg Kuridrani will be a key figure in Sunday’s preliminary final against Sunnybank at Ballymore where the winner will progress to an August 17 grand final against Uni.
The kid brother of 122kg Crusaders winger Nemani Nadolo has been inspired by his sibling’s breakout year.
“I have to say I won the backyard games when we were kids…I’d be scoring tries when mum was calling him into the kitchen,” Kuridrani said with a laugh.
“He is now one of the best wingers out there.”
Laloifi’s late withdrawal from the Sunnybank side with infected gums is a major blow because his footwork and pace have generated 10 tries this season.
“The NRC will be awesome. Not many players from the clubs get this chance at a higher level,” Laloifi said.
“Everyone will be wanting to show what they can do against the Super Rugby players in the teams.
“Definitely, a lot of players out there have goals to make Super Rugby themselves. I do.”
The Melbourne product was spotted in sevens and has built up his small frame from 76kg to a more influential 85kg.
Parker, the son of former Wallaby halfback Tony, has genuine gas and 13 tries to prove it for the minor premiers.
“The NRC is a great concept with the extra opportunities it offers. I know I want to have a crack,” Parker said.
“I missed the club grand final last year with a broken hand so it’s exciting to get a chance this year.”