Hegarty to run Reds show against former team
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Queensland Reds have made five changes to their starting XV for this weekend’s match against Queensland’s oldest rival, Waratahs in Sydney.
Duncan Paia’aua replaces Jordan Petaia in Queensland’s backline after the dynamic centre suffered a season-ending foot injury against the Crusaders last week.
Paia’aua will wear the No.12 jersey, seeing captain Samu Kerevi shift to outside centre for Saturday’s clash at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Former Waratah, Bryce Hegarty has been named at flyhalf, while Isaac Lucas will make his first Super Rugby start at fullback.
In the forwards, JP Smith and Scott Higginbotham will start at loosehead prop and No.8 respectively after both made late impacts off the bench last weekend.
There are also four changes to the Reds interchange with Angus Scott-Young and Hamish Stewart both named on the bench.
Harry Hoopert is back in the Reds matchday 23, while teenage West Australian utility back Jack Hardy could potentially make his Super Rugby and Queensland debut.
Queensland will be looking to end a nine-game losing streak against their southern rivals, with their last victory over New South Wales back in 2013.
Reds: 15 Isaac Lucas, 14 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 13 Samu Kerevi (captain), 12 Duncan Paia’aua, 11 Sefa Naivalu, 10 Bryce Hegarty, 9 Moses Sorovi, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 Liam Wright, 6 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 5 Harry Hockings, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 JP Smith.
Replacements: 16 Alex Mafi, 17 Harry Hoopert, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Caleb Timu, 20 Angus Scott-Young, 21 Tate McDermott, 22 Hamish Stewart, 23 Jack Hardy.
Date: Saturday, March 9
Venue: Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney
Kick-off: 19.45 (18.15 Queensland time; 08.45 GMT)
Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: AJ Jacobs (South Africa), Amy Perrett (Australia)
TMO: James Leckie (Australia)