Aiden Toua has staked a claim for the Queensland Reds’ fullback spot with a strong Super Rugby trial performace in the win over the Chiefs.
After playing just five Super Rugby games in three years, Aiden Toua’s time may have arrived.
Vying to fill the contentious Queensland Reds’ fullback spot, Toua produced a standout performance when given first crack in the 31-20 win over the Chiefs in their opening trial match in Toowoomba on Saturday night.
Coach Richard Graham is looking for someone to add a genuine attacking threat from the back and 24-year-old flyer Toua gave him plenty to think about as he chimed into a backline that looked sharp, particularly when Wallabies halves Will Genia and Quade Cooper were playing together.
His first play of the night saw Toua take an angled run and pick up a long Cooper cut-out pass before sending former Waratahs winger Lachie Turner over for his first try in Reds colours two minutes into the game.
Soon after, Toua burst through the Chiefs defence and kicked and chased, forcing a turnover close to their tryline, eventually resulting in a penalty and a further three points for the Reds.
“It’s always nice playing outside QC (Cooper), he pulls a move and everyone just has to expect the ball,” Toua said of his first touch.
“It was a really good way to get back into the game. It’s been a long four months training so to start the game off like that gave me a lot of confidence.
Toua continued to be threat throughout his 40 minutes of game time, but admitted he was unsure if he had done enough to make the number 15 jersey his own with Turner and youngster Jonah Placid also given time at fullback.
“It changes every day,” Toua said of the competition for the fullback spot.
“It’s really good for the team. Whoever gets the jersey, we know is going to do the job for the team and it’s good to have the competition because it drives you to be a better player.”
Toua made just two appearances for the Reds in 2013 and was named as a reserve in a further three matches.
He made his debut in 2011 before having his 2012 season hampered by hamstring injuries.
It was an impressive first-up performance from the Reds, but they fielded a side littered with Wallabies representatives, while the defending champion Chiefs played just two All Blacks in the first half.