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Queensland Reds name Wallabies flanker Liam Wright captain

Liam Wright of the Reds takes on the defence during the round four Super Rugby match between the Reds and the Bulls at Suncorp Stadium. Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

He's only 22, but new Queensland Reds captain Liam Wright has the smarts, skill and respect to lead his team back to the Super Rugby finals, says coach Brad Thorn.

The one-Test Wallabies flanker is the surprise successor to departed skipper Samu Kerevi, edging out lock Izack Rodda, himself only 23.

Wright, who made his Test debut in the Eden Park Bledisloe clash last year, has captaincy experience under Thorn with both the Queensland under-20s and Queensland Country.

"It's actions first; he walks the walk and when he speaks people listen," Thorn said.

"He's not a quiet guy, but he's articulate and has good composure.

"He's a fine young man but I'm pleased that it was a hard decision .... it's a young group that's growing and there's many guys showing good leadership."

Wright will lead a side with just one player - recruit Henry Speight - aged over 30 but Wright says there will be no excuses as the Reds seek a first finals appearance since 2013.

"Big time, that's what we've been working towards," Wright said.

"We've had a few years where we've been in that rebuilding process so we want to start making our mark on this competition now."

Gun trio Kerevi, Scott Higginbotham and Sefa Naivalu have left for overseas clubs but Wallabies comeback player James O'Connor and veteran Brumbies winger Speight have been added to plug those backline holes.

Emerging back Jordan Petaia lasted just one full game before a foot injury last season while prop Taniela Tupou is locked into a new long-term deal as the Reds seek their first finals appearance since 2013.