The Reds are expected to contend for the Australian Conference title this year, having made big off-season signings.

They finished next to bottom in the Australasian Group last season, winning just three of their 15 matches, but the Queensland franchise have rebuilt their squad over the summer, though, adding the likes of Wallabies skipper Stephen Moore.

They were impressive at the Brisbane Global Rugby Tens and in their pre-season trial against the Rebels.

Stiles’ team are sure to be heavily backed going into Friday’s season opener at Suncorp Stadium against the Sharks.

Having missed the finals for the past three years they’ve made big moves in recruiting Moore and evergreen flanker George Smith.

Stiles said it was a boost to have been able to bring in some top players but added: “Just to gel the squad together was always going to be one of the biggest challenges for me.”

The coach said: “When you watch us play in the tens and the trial against the Rebels, you saw a side that was playing as a team. You can’t win anything as an individual, and I reckon the chemistry in the group is looking really positive.”

They have almost a full-strength squad to choose from against the Sharks, except for Chris Feauai-Sautia and Caleb Timu who are both recovering from ACL injuries suffered last year.

Stiles is expected to hand a Super Rugby debut to winger Izaia Perese, who Wallabies coach Michael Cheika took on the international team’s Spring tour last year as a development player.

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Stiles hails Reds chemistry
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Head coach Nick Stiles feels the Reds have gelled well in pre-season as they look to put together a successful Super Rugby campaign.
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Best Bet News
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