The Queensland Reds have named a near full-strength side to take on the New South Wales Waratahs in Roma for this Saturday’s second and final pre-season trial.
James O’Connor, Jordan Petaia and Jock Campbell will feature for the Reds, with O’Connor set to partner youngster Kalani Thomas in the halves in what shapes as the centrepiece of the annual Santos Festival of Rugby.
The player of the match in the fixture will be awarded the Cuppiadge medal, named after former Queensland captain Dr John Loftus Cuppaidge.
An Irish international, Cuppiadge captained Queensland in 1883 when his side played their New South Wales counterparts in Roma for the first time.
Reds head coach Brad Thorn said: “We’re excited to be playing in Roma this weekend.
“Off the back of our Reds to Regions visits, we’re looking forward to strengthening our connection with regional communities across Queensland.
“The Waratahs will provide tough competition. With the season kicking off next week it’ll be a good contest between both sides.
“It’s great we can support country towns and the people who live there by playing games like this – as the Queensland Reds, it’s who we represent,” said Thorn.
Campbell and Petaia will form a lethal back three combination for the Reds alongside the electric Flilpo Daugunu, while Darling Downs product Hamish Stewart and Josh Flook run on in the centres.
After scoring two tries in his return from injury last weekend, Josh Nasser earns a start at hooker, with Dane Zander and Feao Fotuaika packing down alongside him in the frontrow, while Lukhan Salakaia-Loto and Angus Blyth start at lock.
Liam Wright will captain the side from blindside flanker, as Harry Wilson and Fraser McReight line up with him in the backrow.
Off the bench, Lawson Creighton and Alex Mafi will play their first game for 2022 after injury layoffs, as will rampaging prop Taniela Tupou.
Spencer Jeans and Taj Annan will look to consolidate their form after impressing in their first stint in Queensland colours against the Force last weekend.
Tickets for the Santos Festival of Rugby in Roma are still available. Buy now via https://bit.ly/3gsMh2A.
The match will be streamed live and free via the reds.rugby website. Watch via https://reds.rugby/videos.
Queensland Reds v New South Wales Waratahs, Roma Rugby Union Club, Gallas Fox Park, kick-off 7:30pm AEST:
Dane Zander – Norths Josh Nasser – University of Queensland Feao Fotuaika – Sunnybank Angus Blyth – Bond University Lukhan Salakaia-Loto – Souths Liam Wright (c) – Easts Fraser McReight – Brothers Harry Wilson – Brothers Kalani Thomas – University of Queensland James O’Connor – Brothers Filipo Daugunu – Wests Hamish Stewart – Brothers Josh Flook – Brothers Jordan Petaia – Wests Jock Campbell – University of Queensland
Alex Mafi – Bond University Harry Hoopert – Brothers Taniela Tupou – Brothers Seru Uru – Wests Angus Scott-Young – University of Queensland Spencer Jeans* – Bond University Floyd Aubrey* – GPS Mac Grealy – University of Queensland Ryan Smith – Brothers Lawson Creighton* – Brothers Taj Annan* – Easts
*denotes uncapped at Super Rugby level