O'Connor headlines new-look Reds
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Reds have announced a 28-man squad for their opening pre-season fixture against the Melbourne Rebels in Gladstone on Friday.
The squad features a strong mix of experience and exciting fresh talent in what will be the Reds first hit-out of 2020.
James O’Connor is set to turn-out for Queensland for the first time in five years, while four fellow new signings (Dave Feao, Tuaina Taii Tualima, Seru Uru, Hunter Paisami), plus developing squad duo Dane Zander and Ilaisa Droasese will also get their first chance to impress ahead of the Super Rugby season.
Following strong performances in the National Rugby Championship last year, Brisbane City pairing Lawson Creighton and Ryan Smith were invited to train with Queensland during the pre-season and have been rewarded with selection in Friday’s uncapped fixture in Central Queensland.
“We’re looking forward to travelling to Gladstone and playing some footy in front of our Queensland fans,” Reds coach Brad Thorn said.
“It’s a good opportunity for the new guys to step-up. It’ll be a good first hit-out and they’ll be up for the contest,” Thorn added.
The match in Gladstone will be the first of two pre-season fixtures for the Reds, as Queensland host their oldest rival New South Wales next Friday, January 24, in Dalby.
Forwards: Dane Zander, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Alex Mafi, Sean Farrell, Efi Ma’afu, Taniela Tupou, Dave Feao, Josh Nasser, Angus Blyth, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Ryan Smith, Tuaina Taii Tualima, Angus Scott-Young, Liam Wright, Harry Wilson, Seru Uru.
Backs: Tate McDermott, Moses Sorovi, Isaac Lucas, James O’Connor, Hamish Stewart, Hunter Paisami, Chris Feauai-Sautia, Filipo Daugunu, Jock Campbell, Ilaisa Droasese, Bryce Hegarty, Lawson Creighton.
Date: Friday, January 17
Venue: Marley Brown Oval, Gladstone
Kick-off: 14.45 (04.45 GMT)
Referee: Jordan Way
Assistant referees: Aaron Pook, Brett Cronin