The Queensland Reds will be hoping a new coach can bring different results as they head into 2024 full of expectations.
The Reds were once again eliminated by the Crusaders in the quarter-finals as Brad Thorn's men limped into the finals.
However, Les Kiss brings new energy to a talented but youthful squad ready to deliver on its immense potential.
With this in mind, Rugby.com.au looks at the five key talking points for the Queensland Reds heading into 2023.
1 Sealed with a Kiss
Les Kiss will be looking to get the best out of the Reds in 2024 as he returns home to Australia.
The new boss comes from London Irish promising an exciting brand of Rugby and if their first game is anything to go by - a 47-46 win over Panasonic Wild Knights in a close-door trial - it could be an exciting year for Queensland fans.
In terms of talent, arguably not many teams are set up better for the future than the Reds given the age and experience of their roster.
The trick is to get the best out of them and start delivering results.
2. Life without Tupou
The Reds have already had a year to prepare without world-class prop Taniela Tupou due to injury but now they can’t use it as an excuse after his departure down south.
Kiss has recruited well to fill his gigantic boots with All Blacks Alex Hodgman and Jeffery Toomaga-Allen adding experience.
Zane Nonggorr will be better for his time with the Wallabies whilst Junior Wallaby Massimo de Lutiis will also push for a spot in the 23.
Delivering a consistent but quality set-piece game will go a long towards unlocking their attack and neutralising the dominance of the Kiwi sides.
3. Forgotten men
The Queensland Reds are filled with players hungry to make a statement after missing out on Wallabies selection.
Number eight Harry Wilson leads the way after yet another omission, looking to add further weapons to his game to break ahead of Rob Valetini and Langi Gleeson on the pecking order.
Centres James O’Connor and Hunter Paisami have also fallen out of luck but are coming off excellent seasons with the Reds.
They are joined by the likes of fullback Jock Campbell, who was the breakout star of 2022 but was below his standards in 2023.
4. Where’s best for Jordan?
Jordan Petaia provides an interesting headache for Les Kiss.
Petaia looked certain to be the next long-term fullback at the Reds but found himself almost exclusively used as an outside centre for the Wallabies. He was also shifted around by Thorn before his season ended early due to a wrist injury
Filipo Daugunu filled in there last year with considerable success following his Melbourne move so there’s a space there, although Josh Flook is the more likely option.
It leaves Petaia likely finding space somewhere in the back three, competing with Cambell, Suli Vunivalu and rising stars Mac Grealy, Floyd Aubrey and Tim Ryan.
5. Ten dilemma
The Queensland system has become a production line for playmaking talent and has once again delivered a trio of stars in Lawson Creighton, Tom Lynagh and Harry McLaughlin-Phillips.
It leaves a three-way battle for the position, with Creighton and Lynagh taking back-to-back Rookie of the Year awards in 2022 and 23.
Kiss left the door wide open when asked about the battle, even throwing James O'Connor up as an option
Lynagh has the inside running after finishing the year as the starter, although don’t discount McLaughlin-Phillips if he has a great pre-season. He will likely be the Junior Wallabies starter in 2024 after sharing the responsibility with Jack Bowen at the U20 Championships in June/July.