Thorn's Reds bolstered for Kiwi test
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Queensland Reds will be bolstered by the inclusion of four Wallabies tourists from last year’s end-of-year Tour squad for Friday’s pre-season match against the Chiefs at Ballymore.
Samu Kerevi, Taniela Tupou, Sefa Naivalu and Jordan Petaia have all been named in the 27-man squad for the Reds second and final pre-season fixture of 2019.
After returning from Japan, Alex Mafi will also make his first appearance for Queensland this year, while 22 players will back up after last week’s pre-season match against the Rebels.
Reds head coach Brad Thorn said: “This is a great opportunity for us. We had the Rebels down in Ballarat last week for a hit-out and this will be a tough engagement against a good New Zealand side.
“I think the boys will be looking forward to this and it’ll be the Chiefs last hit-out before they play the following week, so they’ll be coming with real intent. It’s also our last hit-out so I’m looking for the guys to step up from last week,” Thorn said.
The Reds kick off their 2019 Super Rugby season in Dunedin against the Highlanders on February 22, before hosting 2018 champions the Crusaders at Suncorp Stadium in their first home game on Saturday, March 2.
Reds: 15 Bryce Hegarty, 14 Sefa Naivalu, 13 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 12 Samu Kerevi, 11 Jordan Petaia, 10 Hamish Stewart, 9 Moses Sorovi, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 Liam Wright, 6 Angus Scott-Young, 5 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 4 Harry Hockings, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 Feao Fotuaika.
Replacements – from: Alex Mafi, Harry Hoopert, Ruan Smith, Angus Blyth, Caleb Timu, Tate McDermott, Duncan Paia’aua, Isaac Lucas, Adam Korczyk, Teti Tela, Jack Hardy, Filipo Daugunu.
Date: Friday, February 8
Venue: Ballymore Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-off: 19.00 (22.00 NZ time; 09.00 GMT)
Assistant referees: TBC