Reds tweak their winning formula
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Queensland Reds have made three changes to their starting XV for Saturday’s Super Rugby AU Final against the Brumbies.
Queensland’s backline will be bolstered by the return of Jock Campbell who will start on the left wing, while Josh Flook will wear the No.13 jersey, following a facial fracture to Hunter Paisami suffered in their Round 10 match against the Force.
In the forward pack, Ryan Smith has earned the opportunity to start at lock seeing the in-form Angus Scott-Young shift back to his preferred position at blindside flank.
There are four changes to the Reds’ reserves, with Wallabies duo Liam Wright and Filipo Daugunu set to bring plenty of firepower as replacements this weekend.
Loosehead prop Dane Zander has been re-called into the matchday 23, while Wests playmaker Isaac Henry could potentially make his Super Rugby debut off the bench.
“Grand Final week – how good,” Reds coach Brad Thorn said, adding: “This is why you play the game.
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“We’re looking forward to a big game of rugby in front of a packed stadium.
“We’ve got a strong connection with our supporters – right across the state with our Reds to Regions visits and out to the local clubs.
“Our supporters are a big part of the reason why we’re there on Saturday.
“The Brumbies are a tough opponent. They’re the defending premiers. They’ve been the competition benchmark now for a number of years. We’re expecting another a tough contest against them,” said Thorn
The Reds will be aiming for a record-equalling 11th straight win in Brisbane, set back in 2010/2011, to remain unbeaten at home during the history of the Super Rugby AU competition.
Queensland Reds: 15 Bryce Hegarty, 14 Jordan Petaia, 13 Josh Flook, 12 Hamish Stewart, 11 Jock Campbell, 10 James O’Connor (captain), 9 Tate McDermott, 8 Harry Wilson, 7 Fraser McReight, 6 Angus Scott-Young, 5 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 4 Ryan Smith, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 Feao Fotuaika.
Replacements: 16 Alex Mafi, 17 Dane Zander, 18 Zane Nonggorr, 19 Seru Uru, 20 Liam Wright, 21 Kalani Thomas, 22 Isaac Henry, 23 Filipo Daugunu.
Date: Saturday, May 8
Venue: Lang Park, Brisbane
Kick-off: 19.45 (09.45 GMT)
Referee: Nic Berry
Assistant referees: Damon Murphy, Amy Perrett
TMO: James Leckie