Cecilia Smith named Queensland Reds Super W captain

Tue, Mar 5, 2024, 4:44 AM
Reds Media Unit
by Reds Media Unit
Cecilia Smith has been named the Queensland Reds Super W captain for 2024
Cecilia Smith has been named the Queensland Reds Super W captain for 2024

Experienced Wallaroo Cecilia Smith has been honoured with the captaincy of the Queensland Reds for the 2024 Super W campaign.

Reds head coach Grant Anderson is certain Smith is a strong choice to lead the side, starting with the Super W opener against Fijian Drua at Ballymore Stadium on March 17.

The classy centre’s polish as a player since her Reds debut in 2019 is matched by the confidence she instils in the teammates around her.

“Cecilia commands a lot of respect from the entire group,” Anderson said.

“She brings the experience of playing for the Wallaroos and her seasons in Super W. She has a really calming influence on the team.

“She leads by her actions on the field and at training.”

Smith, 29, has been a regular in Wallaroos squads since making her Test debut against New Zealand in 2022 and playing at the Rugby World Cup in NZ later that year.

She also embodies the fierce desire for success at the Reds, having been such a part of the program’s improvements but also feeling the pain of falling short.

The Reds have been one of the standard-setting teams since Super W’s launch in 2018 yet five runner-up finishes have left an obvious goal for 2024.

The captaincy is a new dimension to the excitement Smith feels about a new campaign which will blend experienced campaigners with youngsters like 16-year-old Ipswich State High School centre Shalom Sauaso.

“I’m really honoured, the captaincy is a massive role to take on,” Smith said.

Taking over the captaincy from Shannon Parry doesn’t mean she has lost that support because the retired Wallaroos and sevens legend is also based at Ballymore for her coaching duties with Rugby Australia.

“I see Shannon around a bit. I did have a yarn to her about this and she said, ‘You need to use your big girl voice now’,” Smith said with a grin.

“Anyone who knows me knows I’m a pretty quiet person. I like to let my actions to the talking.

“Shannon is a legend of the game. She’ll only be a phone call away if I need her.”

Smith knows every season and team is unique and the gelling of combinations can make things hum.

“We have a pretty good mix of experienced girls and teenagers who bring a lot of energy and girls from overseas as well,” Smith said.

“Someone who is going to standout is the youngster Shalom. She showed bits and pieces against the Waratahs in the trial in Roma. Imagine what she could do with a lot of caps under her belt.

“For us, it’s about getting the cohesion and combinations right.”

The Reds will complete their three-game pre-season tune-up in Geelong on Saturday when they go on the road to face the Melbourne Rebels.

Wallaroos fullback Lori Cramer is back from her stint with English club Exeter and ready to add energy in her home state after switching from the NSW Waratahs.