Brumbies bracing for Qld Reds Super storm

Brumbies fullback Tom Banks tips Queensland Reds to hit back strongly in their Super Rugby clash.Fullback Tom Banks knows the Queensland Reds better than most at the Brumbies and he expects a strong response from Brad Thorn’s side in Friday’s Super Rugby meeting.

The Reds had a disastrous season opener against the Melbourne Rebels, thumped 45-19 and losing captain Scott Higginbotham to a three-week suspension.

Banks, who has cemented his spot at the Brumbies since joining them last year after being on the fringes with the Reds, said his old team would have been gutted with their first-up performance.

“When there’s so much hype around a team after the pre-season, with what they’ve (the Reds) tried to do and they have a season opener like that, they’ll try to bounce back as hard as they can,” Banks said.

“We’ll have to weather that storm early because it’s such a crucial match for us and they’ll be really wanting to win after that performance.”

Brisbane-raised Banks made just two appearances at his hometown club before last year’s breakout season with the Brumbies.

His rapid rise saw him come into national team calculations, earning a call-up to the Wallabies training squad and impressing for the Barbarians.

Banks, 23, said he didn’t have a point to prove to the Reds and he was looking forward to being back at Suncorp Stadium.

“I always love playing Queensland because I got my start there, any Super Rugby game against them is always good. It’ll be a good Aussie derby,” Banks said.

The Brumbies will be out to make it two-straight wins to open their season after last Saturday’s 32-25 triumph in Tokyo against the Sunwolves.

Wallabies prop Scott Sio is unlikely to return from a calf strain, while 19-year-old Rob Valetini is facing up to 12 weeks on the sidelines after suffering a knee injury in his Super Rugby debut.

Australian Associated Press