Petaia, Slipper recalls headline mouth-watering Reds-Brumbies blockbuster

Wed, Mar 27, 2024, 8:00 AM
Lachlan Grey
by Lachlan Grey
The Stan Sport crew analysed the team news ahead of Saturday's Fijian Drua v Western Force game in Lautoka, on The Call-up.

Rival Aussie coaches Les Kiss and Stephen Larkham have rolled the selection dice ahead of Saturday's Reds-Brumbies derby with mouthwatering match-ups across the paddock.

Queensland have recalled Jordan Petaia to their starting side in place of Suliasi Vunivalu, who drops to the bench.

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Petaia will mark Brumbies flyer Corey Toole, who has been Australia's premier Super Rugby Pacific winger thus far in 2024, while Jock Campbell tackles Tom Wright in an intriguing battle of spurned Wallaby fullbacks.

"Suli still had some carry-over from the HIA from the hit against the Canes. He came back but he wasn't quite right," Kiss told media on Wednesday.

"It's great to be able to get that rotation so I can see Jordy on the wing, he's played a lot of time on the wing and Suli's had a lot of minutes."

Up front, James Slipper and Lachlan Lonergan have been recalled to the Brumbies starting XV and will face former All Black and Samoan international Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, who earns his first Queensland start with Zane Nonggorr coming off the pine.

"Zane has done a very good job. I think each game we've challenged him in different ways about how he goes about his scrum and his general play, he's done some important things for us.

"It's also important that a prop knows how to finish a game and it's a great opportunity for him to finish.

Jeffery has certainly stood up. I think his experience in a scrum that's going well and setting up a platform will be good for us as well."

Brothers Lawson and Hudson Creighton could also collide out wide after Lawson's recall to the Reds matchday squad in the #22 jersey.

Kiss said Lawson had earned his place after week's Australian Club Championship win for Brothers while paving the way for rookie playmaker Harry McLaughlin-Phillips' return.

"He (McLaughlin-Phillips) will feature again, no doubt about it, but I think it's an ideal time for Lawson to have his chance off the bench."

The men's Super Rugby Pacific clash sees the Rod McQueen Cup up for grabs and marks yet another milestone for Slipper (who has represented both Queensland and ACT).

Slipper will tie Stephen Moore's Super Rugby record for most caps by an Australian with 177 appearances when he takes to the field on Saturday evening.

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