Wallabies bolster Reds for Force clash
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Queensland Reds have made three changes to their starting XV for Friday’s final round of the 2021 Super Rugby AU regular season against the Western Force in Perth.
Queensland will be bolstered by the inclusion of three Australian Test stars with skipper Liam Wright, enforcer Hunter Paisami and Fijian flyer Filipo Daugunu all returning to the starting side.
After making his return from injury via the bench in Round Eight against the Brumbies, Wright will resume the captaincy duties at openside flank seeing Angus Scott-Young shift to the second row.
Paisami has overcome a minor calf injury and slots straight back in at outside centre, while Filipo Daugunu will start on the left wing.
The trio’s promotion into the XV sees Ryan Smith and Josh Flook as finishers with Ilaisa Droasese recalled into the 23 for Friday’s match at HBF Park.
Reds head coach Brad Thorn said: “We’re looking forward to travelling west for Friday’s game in Perth.
“It’ll be a good challenge against the Force. They’re coming off a good win and will have a big crowd there. They’re playing for a spot in the finals and both sides will be putting it all out there.
“Liam will start this week for the first time this season and will resume the captaincy. Special mention to James who has proudly led this group for the past seven matches – he’s done a great job,” said Thorn.
The Reds will be aiming for an eighth-straight victory to remain unbeaten in 2021.
Reds: 15 Bryce Hegarty, 14 Jordan Petaia, 13 Hunter Paisami, 12 Hamish Stewart, 11 Filipo Daugunu, 10 James O’Connor, 9 Tate McDermott, 8 Harry Wilson, 7 Fraser McReight, 6 Liam Wright (captain), 5 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 4 Angus Scott-Young, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 Feao Fotuaika.
Replacements: 16 Alex Mafi, 17 Richie Asiata, 18 Zane Nonggorr, 19 Ryan Smith, 20 Seru Uru, 21 Kalani Thomas, 22 Josh Flook, 23 Ilaisa Droasese.
Date: Friday, April 23
Venue: HBF Park, Perth
Kick-off: 17.45 (19.45 AEST; 09.45 GMT)
Referee: Damon Murphy
Assistant referees: Graham Cooper, Reuben Keane
TMO: Brett Cronan