14 March 2012
By TREVOR HOCKINS
THREE of the Queensland Reds' best have shaped up to some of the world’s biggest and ugliest rugby union packs, but they freely admitted they were edgy about meeting DJ yesterday.
DJ, tipping the scales at 2000kg, weighs almost twice as much as the heaviest Super 15 rugby pack.
The southern white rhino, along with four females and baby Savannah, is the centrepiece of Australia Zoo’s Africa exhibit.
"I was a little nervous," 114kg, two-metre tall lock Adam Wallace-Harrison told a large media scrum at the Zoo yesterday morning.
Wallabies star Quade Cooper and Reds prop Kevin Davis nodded and laughed.
"He’s a big boy," Wallace-Harrison said.
The Queensland trio was at Australia Zoo to launch the Reds for Africa charity campaign.
For every try the Reds score while on the South Africa tour in the next two weeks, Stratco will donate $2000 to World Vision clean water projects in Burundi.
The Reds will also wear specially designed cheetah-print jerseys during the games, which will be signed by the players and auctioned online after the tour.
Stratco’s Queensland general manager Mark Moore said the company had raised $127,000 over the past four years for World Vision’s water projects.
"We hope to be able to do even more through campaigns like this one with the Reds," he said.
Despite DJ, yesterday’s visit was pleasing for Quade Cooper, who last year opened Steve Irwin Day celebrations at the zoo.
"I didn’t get a chance to have a really good look around then," he said. "My younger brothers came up with me and had a great day they did the lot.
"But this (Africa exhibit) is awesome."
The Reds South Africa tour will kick off officially early on Sunday morning, when the side plays the Sharks in Durban.
The second match is in Pretoria against the Bulls on March 25.
The Reds were in South Africa yesterday preparing for the games.
Fly-half Cooper and Wallace-Harrison are recuperating after leg injuries.