League convert in Reds squad for Waratahs clash
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Queensland Reds have announced a 25-man squad for Friday’s pre-season fixture against the Waratahs in Narrabri.
The squad features a strong mix of experience and exciting fresh talent in what will be the Reds only hit-out against a rival Super Rugby side ahead of the 2021 season.
Former schoolboy rugby sensation Suliasi Vunivalu is set to play his first game for Queensland after making the switch back to the XV-man code following a decorated career in the NRL with Melbourne.
There are an additional 10 uncapped Super Rugby players in the squad who will get their chance to impress in the Queensland jersey including former Reds Academy players Kalani Thomas, Mac Grealy and Ilaisa Droasese, plus Queensland Club Rugby products Matt Faessler, Ben Grant, Ryan Smith, Sam Wallis and siblings Lawson and Hudson Creighton.
The 25-man squad also boasts three Wallabies fresh from Test duties last year with Fraser McReight, Filipo Daugunu and Queensland captain Liam Wright all selected.
Reds head coach Brad Thorn said: “We’re looking forward to travelling to Narrabri and connecting with the community out there.
“It’s a good opportunity for some our new guys to step-up. They’ve worked hard in the pre-season and they’ll get their chance to show that on Friday night.
“The Waratahs will provide a good contest and we’re looking forward to the challenge,” said Thorn.
Front row: Richie Asiata, Matt Faessler, Feao Fotuaika, Harry Hoopert, Josh Nasser, Zane Nonggorr, Dane Zander.
Locks/Back row: Ben Grant, Fraser McReight, Ryan Smith, Tuaina Taii Tualima, Sam Wallis, Liam Wright, Seru Uru.
Halves: Lawson Creighton, Bryce Hegarty, Moses Sorovi, Kalani Thomas.
Centres/Outside Backs: Jock Campbell, Hudson Creighton, Filipo Daugunu, Ilaisa Droasese, Mac Grealy, Hamish Stewart, Suliasi Vunivalu.
Date: Friday, February 5
Venue: Dangar Park, Narrabri
Kick-off: 20.00 AEDT (09.00 GMT)