Reds’ winds of change has Frisby in spin
New Queensland Reds halfback Nick Frisby is under no illusion about the enormity of the challenge facing his team, and himself, in the coming Super Rugby season.
The 23-year-old has played second fiddle to Will Genia for the past four seasons, but will get first crack at the No.9 jersey this time around, starting with a first-up clash with arch-rivals the Waratahs in Sydney on Saturday night.
With 39 Super Rugby caps to his name, Frisby said he couldn't wait to get the opportunity to be the main man for the Reds.
"The nine's role in any team is to lead the forwards around and to lead the side around the field," Frisby told APN. "There's an added responsibility there, but I'm just looking forward to trying to put a few games together.
"This will be my fifth year now, so I've been waiting a long time and I've worked hard.
"I'm just really looking forward to having a good crack at it."
The Reds, who won just four games last season and finished with the worst points differential in the competition, have struggled in the pre-season, suffering losses to the Crusaders (31-3) and Brumbies (31-18).
Frisby acknowledged significant improvement was needed across the park if the team was going to be competitive.
"We really let ourselves down in a couple of key areas (in the trials) - our work at the breakdown and our ball carries," he said.
"We can't afford to turn over that much ball. We've got a bit of improvement to make there for when we front up against the Tahs."
Apart from Genia, the team has lost playmaker Quade Cooper and centre Ben Tapuai from last season, making it difficult to see where the points will come from in 2016.
Last year only the Western Force scored fewer points than the Reds, and Frisby admitted it could take the young line-up a few games to gel.
"We've got a young group of guys who haven't played much together," he said. "We've got no continuity, we're hardly putting phase on phase together. (But) I think once we sort out the ruck and ball-carrying, the cohesiveness will come."
The season begins on Friday night with the Blues, tipped to be big improvers in 2016 under new coach Tana Umaga, hosting the defending champions, the Highlanders, and the Brumbies at home to the Hurricanes.