Former Wallaby Lachie Turner has hailed the efforts of young half Nick Frisby as the Queensland Reds’ makeshift five-eighth this Super Rugby campaign.
Frisby has been thrown into the No.10 jersey for most of the season with Quade Cooper’s injury woes keeping the Australia representative sidelined for all but two matches for the Reds.
The 22-year-old halfback, who it was announced on Friday has signed a new deal to stay at the Reds until the end of the 2017 season, has struggled at times with his changed role but Turner says on the whole Frisby’s efforts have been commendable.
“What he’s gone through in terms of stepping out from behind a massive shadow into a position he’s not familiar with, asking him to do something he’s never done before and do it in a cauldron that’s as tough as Super Rugby? To see the way he’s handled that and matured into that role, I’ve got a lot of respect for him,” Turner said.
“He’s doing a great job for us there that no-one else in the squad could do, I’m proud of him to see where he’s going and the way he’s handling it.”
With speculation increasing that Cooper is poised to join French club Toulon and join 2011 Super Rugby championship heroes Will Genia and James Horwill in the exit lounge, Frisby’s contract extension will be welcome news.
Along with Frisby, captain James Slipper has also signed a new deal to keep him with the Reds until the end of the 2018 season while vice-captain Rob Simmons has committed until the end of 2017.
Slipper, capped 63 times by the Wallabies and the national team’s vice-captain in 2014, said leading the Reds in 2015 had been a great personal moment.
“To be named captain earlier this year was such an honour and very humbling,” Slipper said.
“I’ve been at Ballymore since I was 18 years old and part of the Reds program now for eight years.
“There’s still plenty I want to achieve in this jersey.”