Blyth ready to move mountains
Queensland's second-row stocks are looking healthier than ever in 2020 - but that strength isn't without its pitfalls for Angus Blyth.
The 204cm man-mountain is facing a mountain of his own just to feature in the Reds' matchday squad this year with the likes of Izack Rodda, Harry Hockings, Lukhan Salakai-Loto and Michael Wood all vying for places in the engine room.
One of Queensland Country's better performers in the NRC, Blyth nevertheless remains behind Rodda on the pecking order and will be staking his claim to partner the 21-Test Wallaby when the Reds host the Melbourne Rebels in their opening trial of the season.
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"It's a really good opportunity for me, we've got a bit of competition in my role which is healthy and needed so I'm just looking forward to giving everything in the trial and showing what I've got," Blyth said on Tuesday.
"It's pretty important to have a good second row pairing. I'm good friends with Izack and Harry and I have played with both of them and have a good pairing with both of them."
"I'm just going to try my best and just give everything I can in this trial, hopefully cement my position as much as I can."
Queensland's second-row depth is understandable given the pedigree of coach and former lock Brad Thorn, whom Blyth credits with his own technical development, but whether that depth extends across the squad and onto the paddock remains to be seen.
The Reds have been cast a tough draw with trips to Canberra, South Africa and Argentina in the opening three weeks and Friday's trial will offer a glimpse as to how they might fare in Thorn's third season at the helm.
Blyth is confident his side will improve on last year's 6-10 showing and a pre-season win in his Gladstone hometown would be the perfect place to start.
"We've been saying it for years, we're a young team and we're sort of starting to come together a lot more and glue a lot more together," Blyth said.
"We did have good performances last year and in the previous years so I really do believe that this year we can be more consistent and a threat come finals time."