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Tune on song to confuse Miller

Former Wallabies winger Ben Tune's rugby union resurrection is already causing selection headaches for Queensland coach Jeff Miller.

Tune on song to confuse Miller

Former Wallabies winger Ben Tune's rugby union resurrection is already causing selection headaches for Queensland coach Jeff Miller.

Former Wallabies winger Ben Tune's rugby union resurrection is already causing selection headaches for Queensland coach Jeff Miller.

Tune scored a try and enjoyed a highly-involved return in the first half of the Reds' 43-5 Super 12 trial win over the ACT Brumbies at Ballymore.


After the seven-try rout Miller confidently declared Tune would return to his best if he stayed injury-free in 2005 after chronic knee tendonitis forced a halt to his career in April 2003.

"When he stood down previously that 21 months ago you really felt for him and to see him back tonight you know that he's going to get back to his best if he can stay on the field," Miller said.

But while injury is a concern after three knee operations, it is the Reds coach who will determine Tune's chances of making his new position at outside centre his own.

Tune is locked in a three-way battle with rising incumbent Drew Mitchell and the powerful Junior Pelesasa, a two-try man of the match against the Brumbies, for the No.13 jersey.

Miller admitted the opening 2005 hit-out made selection matters more tricky and was unsure of how to audition the trio in Saturday night's second trial against NSW at Ballymore.

"I think they're going to be more confused after (last night)," he said.

"Tuney did some really good things and Junior (had) a man-of-the-match performance, it was a really good way to start the year."

Tune's 24th-minute try, which brought the 11,147 Ballymore crowd to its collective feet, came courtesy of quick phase ball and a reflex final catch and pass by Steve Kefu which the 46-Test stalwart did well to juggle and hold before beating a defender to score.

Although his pace and power seemed to have returned to the levels when he was regarded among the best wingers in the world, Tune's fitness didn't.

He said he never felt "more buggered after 40 minutes" but was buoyed by his ability to stay fast and agile late in the half.

"I was happy because when I got buggered I used to get heavy legs but I didn't get that. My lungs were exploding but my legs still felt fairly fresh which is a good sign," said Tune, who lauded Pelesasa's second-half effort at No.13.

"He's obviously more established in the position than I am and it showed. I thought he had a great game which I though he would. He's a great player."

The long-term future also looks bright for the Reds out wide with young trio Scott Daruda, Lloyd Johansson and Digby Ioane producing sparkling debuts as the Reds backs ran in four second-half tries.

AAP



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