The St.George Queensland Reds have made four changes to their starting XV for Saturday’s Vodafone Super Rugby AU clash against the Rebels at Suncorp Stadium.
Dane Zander has been ruled-out for the remainder of the season after suffering a knee injury at training this week.
It sees Jack Straker starting at loosehead prop and fellow GPS frontrower Jethro Felemi brought into Queensland’s 23.
Born in Tonga and schooled in New Zealand, Felemi represented the Blues and also Auckland U18s sides before playing for North Harbour in the Mitre 10 Cup in 2016.
Two years later he moved to Australia and in 2019 played for Bond University Queensland Country in the National Rugby Championship (NRC) and GPS in Queensland Premier Rugby.
As for the other three changes, Jordan Petaia will make his return this week on the wing with Jock Campbell returning to fullback.
While Tate McDermott and Fraser McReight have both been promoted into the starting side.
McReight will wear the number seven jersey with captain Liam Wright shifting to blindside flanker in a reshuffle to the backrow.
McReight, McDermott and Petaia’s inclusion sees Angus Scott-Young, Scott Malolua and Bryce Hegarty respectively all on the bench as finishers.
Reds head coach Brad Thorn said: “After two weeks of travelling, it’s good to be back home this week in front of our Queensland fans.
“The Rebels are a quality team. They’ll be full of confidence after their performance over the Brumbies. We went 90 minutes with them last time down at Brookvale and we’re expecting another tough match on Saturday night.
“We’re gutted for Dane. He’s been playing good footy recently. We’ve got Jethro coming in for us. He’s played a fair bit of footy including in the Mitre 10 Cup with North Harbour and also for Queensland Country in the NRC last year.
“It’s a good boost for everyone having Jordy back. We’re a family here at the Reds and he’s a part that. We’re a tight group and we’re all supporting him and his family,” said Thorn.
After an 18-all Super Time draw against Melbourne back in Round 2 at Brookvale Oval, the Reds will be aiming for their first victory over the Rebels in two years as they look to keep their unbeaten Super Rugby AU record at home intact.
Queensland play the Rebels at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Saturday night at 7:15pm AEST and will be broadcast live on Fox Sports and Kayo.
The Reds travel down the M1 next week to play the Western Force at Cbus Super Stadium on the Gold Coast on Friday August 21.