• Slipper eyes early return

    Reds prop James Slipper is confident of an early return to Vodacom Super Rugby following a recent shoulder reconstruction.

    Slipper underwent surgery in November after the World Cup to fix an injury he’d been carrying for some time. The original prognosis was that he’d miss most of the 2016 Super Rugby season, but the prop is confident of making his return sooner than expected.

    ‘I’ve been carrying this injury around for a couple of years now, so it's probably about time now that I got it fixed up,' he said. 'It was a bad one, I've had it reconstructed. I’m working hard on it at the moment and I'm hoping to be back sometime in the first half of the season. To be honest, I'm looking forward to the challenges ahead; I'm training hard and the goal is obviously to come back stronger, healthier and fitter.'

    The Reds’ Super Rugby campaign kicks off on 27 February against the Waratahs in Sydney.

    Photo: Chris Hyde/Getty Images